Ocado Retail today said that it will be able to substitute most Waitrose grocery items at the same price or lower when it starts to sell products from Marks & Spencer instead.
The retailer, now half-owned by M&S, will start to offer customers M&S groceries when its contract with Waitrose comes to an end next September. In a trading statement today it said that a review of both ranges showed that most of the just over 4,000 Waitrose products that it currently stocks – out of a total range of 55,000 lines – could be replaced by M&S items costing the same or lower. It also expects to add many more M&S lines as well.
The update came as Ocado, ranked Top100 in IRUK Top500 research, said its retail business turnover over £429.1m in the 13 weeks to December 1. That’s up by 10.8% compared to the same time last year. It handled an average of 350,000 orders (+10.4%) a week during the period. The average order was worth £104.90, staying level with the previous year.
Meanwhile, Ocado said its Erith customer fulfilment centre (CFC) was now processing more than 70,000 orders a week.
Ocado Retail chief executive Melanie Smith said: “I am pleased to report further progress in bringing the Ocado offer to an ever increasing number of customers in the U.K. Another strong quarter for customer orders means that we remain the fastest growing grocer in the country. The collaboration between M&S and Ocado Group is working well.
“We have made good progress preparing for switchover date in September 2020, when the M&S food range will be available online for the first time. We are also planning fresh capacity, to offer customers more availability, and have new customer fulfilment facilities in Bristol and Purfleet, and a rebuilt state of the art facility at Andover, on the way. As a team, we could not be more excited.”
Image courtesy of Ocado