Marks & Spencer is working to grow its online food delivery partnership with Ocado, in a bid to keep up with other supermarkets.
According to reports in the Mail on Sunday, M&S’s chief executive Stuart Machin has drawn up a blueprint to boost the food delivery business. The plan would see faster, more efficient deliveries and drive growth.
The blueprint would see the number of M&S Food products available on the Ocado website increase from 75% at present to as close to 100% as possible over the coming months. Currently, M&S own-label food makes up just 30% of an average basket.
There will also be a particular focus on making lower-priced products from the ‘Remarksable’ value range available as soon as possible, amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Furthermore, M&S will look to make the most of Ocado’s new distribution centres in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and Luton, Bedfordshire. It is aiming to process 700,000 orders a week, up from 367,000 at the end of the last financial year.
Machin also recently told investors that opportunities for the service “haven’t really scratched the surface yet”, with M&S sales via Ocado totalling £1.3 billion in the past two years.
An insider told the Mail that he plans to grow Ocado Retail over the next five years to achieve a “market-leading national position in online food retailing” and a “brilliant showcase for the M&S brand and range”.
Hannah Gibson, the new CEO of Ocado Retail, will be spearheading the review into the business.
The news follows M&S’s switch to focusing on its food business. Earlier this month it announced the opening of 104 additional Simply Food stores.