Morrisons eyes Best Buy stores for Kiddicare - report

LONDON Sun Jan 8, 2012 1:24pm GMT

A shopper leaves with her groceries at the Morrisons supermarket in Bradford City centre, January 9, 2003. REUTERS/Ian Hodgson

A shopper leaves with her groceries at the Morrisons supermarket in Bradford City centre, January 9, 2003.

Credit: Reuters/Ian Hodgson

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LONDON (Reuters) - Wm Morrison Supermarkets (MRW.L) is in talks to acquire the "big box" stores occupied by electronics chain Best Buy to sell products from its Kiddicare range, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The newspaper said Morrisons was in advanced talks with electricals retailer Carphone Warehouse CPW.L, which co-owns the Best Buy Europe chain, about taking on the sites.

Morrisons, Britain's fourth-biggest grocer, bought the online baby products retailer Kiddicare in February for 70 million pounds in its first step to building a business selling non-food goods over the internet.

It said at the time that the deal would give it a technology platform and distribution centre it would use to start selling other non-food ranges, which could include homewares and clothing.

The Telegraph said that all 11 Best Buy stores were under offer to Morrisons, although it could end up choosing only the best sites. They are all large stores on out-of-town retail parks.

Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy (BBY.N) said in November they would close their 11 Best Buy-branded stores as the U.S. group scaled back its overseas ambitions.

A spokesman for Morrisons, which is due to report its Christmas trading figures to the market on Monday, declined to comment. A spokesman for Carphone Warehouse said the group was in talks with a number of interested parties for the stores.

($1 = 0.6490 British pounds)

(Reporting by Kate Holton. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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