the fourth largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom.
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Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc (LSE: MRW) is the fourth largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The company is usually referred to and is branded as Morrisons, and it is part of the FTSE 100 Index of companies. Morrisons's market share as of December 2008 was 11.8%, making it the smallest of the "Big Four" supermarkets, behind Tesco (30.9%), Asda (16.8%) and Sainsbury's (16%), but ahead of the fifth place Co-operative Group, which had a share of 4.4%.
Founded in 1899 by William Morrison, hence the abbreviation Wm Morrison, it began as an egg and butter stall in Rawson Market, Bradford, England. Until 2004, Morrisons store locations were primarily focused in the north of England, but with the takeover of Safeway in that year, the company now has 455 superstores across the UK.
The Morrison family currently owns around 15.5% of the company.
The company was founded by William Morrison in 1899, initially as an egg and butter merchant in Rawson Market, Bradford, England operating under the name of Wm Morrison (Provisions) Limited.
His son, Ken Morrison took over the company in 1952, aged 26. In 1958 it opened a small shop in the city centre. It was the first self-service store in Bradford, the first store to have prices on its products and it had three checkouts. The company opened its first supermarket "Victoria", in the Girlington district of Bradford in 1961.
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