Supermarket group Morrisons has hired a new non-food executive as it gears up to expand non-food ranges in stores this year.

The grocer has hired Gary Beattie, who is head of buying for electricals and seasonal at Otto UK, to be trading manager for home and leisure. He starts in June.

Beattie’s remit will be to increase sales of entertainment, books, electricals, magazines and news, but Morrisons is believed to be planning expansion of all its non-food categories later this year.

An industry source said: “They are going through a big ramping up campaign. They want to expand in everything.”

Morrisons is understood to generate about£700 million a year of non-food sales, which is a tiny proportion of its£13 billion turnover. However, the grocer believes it can ramp up sales, given the millions of customers who visit its stores each week.

A Morrisons spokeswoman declined to comment on Beattie’s appointment, but said: “With regard to non-food, we have expansion plans, but that is as much as I can say.”

At last month’s results, Morrisons chief executive Marc Bolland said: “Our home and leisure department showed good growth, albeit this was from CDs and DVDs at low margin. New, broader ranges will be introduced in the coming year.”

Since taking the helm in September 2006, Bolland has focused on whipping stores and the food offer into shape and introducing a£450 million technology-led optim-isation programme.