The supermarket chain Morrisons is on the hunt for digital agencies, as it seeks to revamp its online presence and take on the likes of Tesco.com.
The AAR has sent out tender documents to a number of digital agencies, and it is understood that the supermarket chain is searching for agencies that have significant experience working for "pure play" retail brands.
It is quizzing agencies about their experience with databases and large commercial content management systems.
Currently, the Morrisons website carries information on store locations and opening times, as well as special offers and corporate contacts. It was launched two years ago.
While Morrisons has seen its share of supermarket sales slip, Tesco reported last year that sales for Tesco.com were likely to total more than £1 billion for 2006, indicating e-commerce could turn out to be a lucrative new revenue stream for Morrisons.
Morrisons said that talk of a move into e-commerce was speculation, but it did confirm that it was talking to agencies about a "whole raft of things" as part of a company-wide review that was instigated by the new chief executive, Marc Bolland, who joined from Heineken in September 2006.
"The results of the review will be revealed on 15 March," a Morrisons spokesman said.
Morrisons has retained Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners for its above-the-line advertising. The agency won the £37 million account last August after a pitch, which was run through the AAR, against Euro RSCG and Leo Burnett. The previous incumbent on the account was BDH\TBWA.
DLKW's most recent work for the supermarket chain was a Valentine's Day-themed TV campaign that showed a young man impressing his girlfriend with a classy meal bought entirely from Morrisons.
DLKW Dialogue is likely to bid for the digital account.
Morrisons was known as a profitable, northern brand until it acquired 479 Safeway stores in 2004. It closed many of the stores and rebranded the rest under the Morrisons name, leading to the first loss in its history. The company has now returned to profit and is thought to be planning a huge rebrand this year.