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Marks and Spencer looks to boost Ocado grocery deliveries

Marks & Spencer's Chief Executive, Stuart Machin, is working on a blueprint to ramp up the retailer’s Ocado food delivery operation.

He is embarking on a review to improve the service, with the aim of making the business more efficient and spurring growth, according to a report by The Mail On Sunday.


M&S is looking to increase its share of the UK's food spending in stores and online by more than 25%. Hannah Gibson, the new boss of the Ocado Retail venture, is spearheading the review.


At present, 75% of the M&S food range is offered through Ocado. Plans are afoot to increase that closer to 100% in the coming months.

There will be an emphasis on making more products from the 'Remarksable' value range available on Ocado to appeal to budget conscious shoppers amidst the cost of living crisis.


Gibson is also looking at how to improve every grocery delivery shopper’s biggest bugbear, those dreaded substitutions.


Sales of M&S goods since the launch of its joint venture with Ocado a little over two years ago have hit £1.3 billion.


An ‘insider’ told The Mail On Sunday that Machin aims to grow Ocado Retail over the next five years to achieve 'a market leading national position in online food retailing and a brilliant showcase for the M&S brand and range'.


He is pushing for 700,000 orders a week, up from 367,000 at the end of the last financial year in March.


Last month, it was reported that M&S had partnered with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to upgrade its in-store space, range and display (SRD) capabilities.


The retailer was facing multiple operational challenges created by a lack of technology investment.


TCS developed and implemented a cloud-based SRD platform using Blue Yonder Category Management and Azure Data Bricks with the aim of optimising store space, improving stock management efficiency, addressing the company’s GSCOP (Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice) ranking and enhancing the customer experience.


The SRD platform integrates supply chain, store, and merchandising systems, to provide M&S with visibility of all available product lines, immediately inform systems operations and planning teams at scale.


The high street giant says that stock range is now always accurate and the integration with supply chain systems means no delay between the planogram and ranges listed on the supply chain system.

Shop floor space is now maximised, and any unexpected supply chain issues can be quickly resolved, it adds.


Rob Barnes, Chief Technology Officer, Food and Retail at M&S, commented: “The new SRD platform is a key piece of technology that is important for working out what to put where inside our stores, which products we should sell, and to what extent.”


“All we got from day one was benefits and that doesn't come by accident - it comes from two great teams working together very effectively to deliver a successful programme.”


“Our relationship with TCS is going to be critical in navigating some of the significant investments and further transformations across our operating model. Most importantly this will be vital to create the best experience for our colleagues and our customers”.


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