More reports on: E-business

Marks and Spencer to launch online grocery delivery

29 April 2017

High street giant Marks and Spencer planned to join the online grocery shopping delivery market this autumn.

The other major supermarket brands such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose had been offering the option for customers to order food online and have it delivered to their homes for years.

Marks and Spencer had earlier not considered the service, as its customers tended to make smaller purchases compared to a full weekly shop.

However, the supermarket already offered a limited online delivery service for a selection of its range of party food and alcohol.

The decision to expand the delivery service to include all of its wider groceries seemed to have a lot to with the launch of new delivery services, such as AmazonFresh, according to commentators.

The services allowed customers to order groceries at lunchtime and have them delivered in time for dinner.

Marks and Spencer will conduct a soft trial of the new delivery service in autumn.

According to commentators, one of the major stumbling hurdles Marks and Spencer will face was that it stocked a significantly lower range of products as against its rivals.

Tesco for instance was believed to stock 40,000 products, while Marks and Spencer's stocked 7,000.

According to CEO Steve Rowe, while it had not cost the chain anything over the last five years by not being online with food, they will need to ensure they were ready for customers "with the right response".

Rowe said, ''We continue to review food online carefully, Wales Online reported. 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.

''The economics of food online are not straightforward and it is not something that we are going to rush into until we have substantial customer insight and a better understanding of what is right for M&S and right for our customers''.

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