Ocado completes arrangements for online grocery delivery tie-up with M&S
Ocado has completed the sale of 50% of its UK retail business to Marks & Spencer as it embarks on a joint venture with the high street retailer to enable it to offer an online grocery delivery service.
However, the business will not begin selling M&S products until 1 September next year, unless Ocado Retail’s current arrangements with the Waitrose supermarket chain end sooner.
The tie-up will enable Ocado shoppers to choose from over 6,500 M&S food products when shopping on Ocado.com. This will be in addition to Ocado’s own brands and own label products and full range of branded goods.
As part of the plans, Ocado has appointed M&S strategy director Melanie Smith as chief executive of Ocado Retail. Lawrence Hene, currently the interim managing director of Ocado Retail, has been appointed as deputy chief executive for a transitional period before moving back to a senior role within Ocado.
Steve Rowe, M&S chief executive, said: “I have always believed that M&S Food could and should be online. The addition of Ocado to our family of businesses marks M&S’s first truly transformational step in shaping our future as a digital first retailer, as we combine the magic of M&S food with Ocado’s award-winning service to create a new and compelling proposition
Rowe will also be a director of Ocado Retail as will M&S food managing director Stuart Machin. The remaining board members will include Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner and Ocado chief financial officer Duncan Tatton-Brown. Steiner will also be chair of the board of Ocado Retail.
Steiner said: “Ocado Retail’s future, as part of a joint venture with M&S, is full of opportunity. The new company will be able to offer customers even greater range, service, quality and value. Our collaboration will also allow us to grow the business faster, add more jobs, and create more value for all our stakeholders. We are very excited to be working together.”
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