M&S to keep “laser” focus on new Ocado deal

Marks & Spencer M&S Ocado Stuart Machin food deal partnership
M&S bought half of Ocado’s retail business last year for £750 million

Marks & Spencer food boss Stuart Machin has reportedly informed staff in a letter that the retailer will keep a close eye on the new venture with online grocer Ocado.

The venture will launch in less than 100 days, and is understood to be M&S’s biggest strategic gamble for decades.

The high street stalwart bought half of Ocado’s retail business last year for £750 million.

Machin said his team was maintaining a “laser” focus on September 1 when Ocado swaps Waitrose after an 18 year partnership, This is Money reported.

He added that M&S is preparing for scrutiny from customers, both new and existing.

Machin wrote to staff that the retailer needs to “get it right” from launch.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also added more challenges into the mix, and as Machin pointed out – “Covid-19 made online demand rocket”.

On Wednesday, M&S announced that shoppers can purchase underwear and children’s school clothes along with their groceries through Ocado.

Ocado will see 1600 essential clothing lines as well as more than 6000 M&S food products added to its platform – which is 2000 more than Waitrose offers.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said the initiative was on track despite Covid-19 disrupting supply chains.

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