Having been founded in the city, Morrisons – the UK’s 4th largest supermarket chain – has stayed loyal to its roots in Bradford long since a strong connection to the city was a necessity. Founder William Morrison opened his first stall in Rawson Market in Bradford city centre in 1899, and in the space of just over a century, the company has grown to have supermarkets of all sizes across the country, with all operations being based out of its Bradford headquarters.
Named Hilmore House – after founder William Morrisons wife – the new building is based on Gain Lane, in the Thornbury area of Bradford. It is the company’s only UK main office. The current building was opened in 2005, houses around 2,000 employees and offers more than 330,000 square feet of office space. The previous head office on Thornton Road – which the company left due to rapid growth – was demolished in 2012 after attempts to sell it proved unsuccessful.
Calling the Morrisons head office number
In line with competitors Tesco, Sainsbury’s and ASDA, Morrisons have a wide range of employees at the head office, all tasked with offering the best value for money for both the company and the customer. Roles range from the relatively mundane through to the exciting; IT and technical roles, health and safety positions and buyers jobs have been based at their Hilmore House HQ.
Unlike some other businesses that specialise in groceries, Gain Lane also operates as their central hub for customer complaints and queries. While they also have a call centre in Peterborough (largely for the Kiddicare arm of the company), the majority of problems are dealt with in their Bradford head office. The range of queries dealt with range from the usual – consumers complaining about customer service – through to press inquiries.
Different Morrisons head office numbers
Morrisons does, however, have a regional department based in Hong Kong. However, this is largely so that the company can source the best good from the eastern market for its UK stores – by “building strong direct relationships with suppliers rather than relying on intermediaries” – and looks to enhance the company’s reputation as one of the best value supermarkets in the UK. Though the number of employees in their Bradford office is in the thousands, there are believed to be less than 50 staff based in Hong Kong.
Despite their strong links to the city, there have been controversies in recent times in regards to the methods used by Morrisons in their Bradford headquarters. In 2012, a decision to outsource over 200 payroll and associated roles to an Indian company (Wipro) sent shockwaves through the local community, and a promise to redeploy or retrain many of the staff being made redundant was greeted with dismay by employees of the company.
Morrisons head office numbers departments
Morrisons has rapidly expanded over recent years, and seems to have no plans to stop. Under their Morrisons Local brand, they plan to have an outlet within 15 minutes of every home in the British Isles. In 2013, they finally followed ASDA and Tesco in launching their own clothing brand – NUTMEG – and have followed that up by finally offering online shopping in 2014. This comes on the back of Morrisons Cellar – the supermarket’s attempt to launch an online wine retailer – in 2012.
Wm Morrison Supermarkets. PLC Hilmore House, Gain Lane, Bradford, BD3 7DL
Unlike most major industries, in the British supermarket business it is usual for companies to have their base of operations outside the traditional centre of London. Tesco have their head office in Cheshunt and ASDA’s headquarters are in Leeds – in fact it is only Sainsbury’s of the ‘big 4’ that have a HQ in the capital – but it is Morrisons that have the most baffling location for those who don’t know about the company’s history, settling in Bradford.
Wikipedia. Morrisons supermarket, central Bradford
Tesco’s relatively remote location is somewhat of a red herring – they have purposely positioned themselves within commutable distance of the capital, while making huge savings associated with being London based. Much like ASDA, Morrisons have kept their headquarters where they began as a company, steadfastly refusing to move despite rapid expansion of the brand. Whereas ASDA began as a collection of shops (as the Associated Dairies & Farm Stores Limited), Morrisons was the brainchild of one man – William Morrison.
Morrisons head office number history
Starting in 1899 – what modern children would call the Victorian age – Morrison opened a stall in Bradford’s Rawson Market, selling a Eggs and Butter under the name Wm Morrison (Provisions) Limited. Steady growth was hindered by restrictive laws, as well as the two world wars and the rationing that came with them. It wasn’t until 1958 that Morrison opened his own store – again, based in Bradford town centre. Three years later, the first Supermarket was opened under the Morrisons name in the same location.
Given the size of the company and the number of locations they have across the country, it is somewhat of a surprise that until relatively recently Morrisons was quite a local enterprise. It wasn’t until 1978 that the company even tried to court shoppers from outside of Yorkshire, taking over Whelan Discount stores in order to brand in order to gain some of the grocery market in Lancashire. It took another 20 years before they began working in the south of England – the Erith store in London was their first venture away from the north, opening in 1998.
Outside of their initial reluctance to branch further afield and their strong historical grounding in the city, there are even stronger links that tie Morrisons to the city of Bradford. The original head office – now demolished – was opened alongside a factory and warehouse complex in 1971. When it became clear that these facilities were no longer good enough for a grocery provider that had become the 4th most powerful in the UK at around the turn of the millennium, any decision to move away from Bradford was countered by the level of infrastructure that they have in the city.
Close to their headquarters is their own-brand food production warehouse (known as Farmers Boy) and a warehouse/distribution centre in nearby Wakefield. A second Morrisons distribution centre is located in nearby Gadbrook Park in Cheshire.
Though under the stewardship of William Morrison – and his son, Sir Ken Morrison – it is certain that the company likely felt a sense of obligation to keep their base of operations in Bradford, it seems that regardless of who is running the company, they will keep a large proportion of their high-level and logistics business in the area purely due to the levels of infrastructure already in place.