Morrisons is looking to poach shoppers from its archrivals with its new children’s clothing brand Nutmeg when it launches next month.

The grocer has identified three million of its 11 million shoppers who visit its stores each week but turn to rivals such as Tesco and George at Asda for clothes.

The childrenswear range will launch on March 21 in 100 stores and will be in 150 stores by the autumn. It is launching a small range of basic adult clothing which is set to be extended later in the year.

Nutmeg will also feature in Kiddicare’s six stores, the latest of which opened in Rotherham today.

Morrisons will launch a non-transactional microsite within its main site for its Nutmeg brand next month and its first director for clothing Tim Bettley hopes to launch a transactional clothing site in the next 12 months.

Bettley told Retail Week: “The competition in supermarket clothing is intense and there are a lot of retailers doing a very good job. We are differentiating ourselves by putting the emphasis on quality, value and thoughtful details such as poppers on kids clothes and stretchy waistbands.”

The 500-strong Nutmeg product range will be sold in 1,000 sq ft shop-in-shops within Morrisons’ supermarket stores. Bettley said the areas will feature tailored merchandising, different flooring and clothes co-ordinated into outfits.

Bettley has raided rivals including Asda and Tesco as well as Next, Claire’s Accessories and Peacocks to bolster the 50-strong team at its new office in Coalville, Leicestershire.

Asda chief merchandising officer for George and general merchdise at Andrew Moore said of the Nutmeg launch: “We wish them every success. George was established over 22 years ago and building a business as successful as George today is a tough job.” 

Bettley, who joined Morrisons from Peacocks last year, said that Morrisons remains “fundamentally food first”. He said: “We are a food retailer and we want people to begin to buy clothing as part of a weekly shop.”