Supermarket chain Morrisons has hired former Apple internet store director Steve Thompson as it prepares to launch its long-awaited online retail service.
Thompson, who left Apple in May this year following a successful two-year spell during which the iPad, iPad 2 and iPhone 4 were launched, will head the online food store.
Morrisons announced the plan in its half-yearly results, released today.
"In March we acquired a stake in FreshDirect to enable us to properly evaluate how we could develop a profitable food online business for Morrisons," the company said.
"A team is now in New York working with FreshDirect management. They will be headed by Simon Thompson, who has been appointed as managing director for Morrisons.com for food."
The non-food service, which is also on track for a 2012 launch, will be based on systems used in Kiddicare, a separate business Morrisons acquired in 2011.
"Kiddicare has now been integrated into the Morrisons family. Kiosks, which enable Morrisons customers to order Kiddicare products online, will be installed in 28 of our stores by the end of the third quarter and will be rolled out further when the concept has been fully tested," said the supermarket in the statement.
Some of Morrisons competitors, who include Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, have been offering online retail services for around a decade.