Marks & Spencer is making moves to enter the growing, yet crowded market of online food delivery. Shoppers will soon be able to order their favorite groceries plus high-end treats online and have it delivered to their doorstep as M&S prepares home delivery trials later this year. According to reports, M&S could be exploring a tie-up with delivery company Ocado. This move comes as part of a wider push into its fast-growing food retail business.
Just last week, Marks and Spencer announced plans to shut 6 UK stores while opening 36 new British stores over the next six months, 34 of which will be dedicated to its booming food business. This is part of their strategy to focus more on meeting consumers’ changing spending habits, according to the Guardian.
The retailer’s key objective is to retain its loyal customer base before they switch to rivals in the future said Steve Rowe in an interview with the Guardian. Rowe further says “It has not cost us anything over the last five years by not being online with food. Our customers haven’t moved yet, but they will and we need to ensure that we are ready with the right response. There are unanswered questions over what this means for M&S and we have a team looking at this now with a view to undertaking a soft trial in the autumn.”
M&S already sells a limited variety of party food and alcohol online but it plans to provide shoppers with a wider range of grocery items that would be made available online for the first time.
This favorite retailer can no longer ignore the changing trends in grocery retailing with new entrants like Amazon Fresh and Ocado also trying to capture a share of the market. M&S now recognize the importance of growing its well-loved food business for its loyal British consumers.
Thea Kearse – Consultant (Hospitality and F&B Sector) says:
“M&S has always been a firm favorite with British consumers and it’s great to see that they are being suitably future focused. M&S focuses exclusively on own-brand products that put them into an altogether unique category within the online food delivery market. If they don’t start thinking about the traits of the next generation of shoppers, they risk losing out in the market by not understanding the expectation of modern shoppers.”