M&S takes on Aldi as it slashes food prices to win customers back

Marks & Spencer food is getting cheaper as the upmarket chain fights back against value retailers by slashing prices, cutting waste and stepping up plans to launch online deliveries.

Hundreds of Marks & Spencer food products have seen their prices tumble as the high street store looks to win more customers.

The upmarket chain is trying to become the main destination for more people's weekly food shops, and that means its basics are getting cheaper.

And it seems to be working, with M&S announcing food sales are rising in its most recent results.

Emma-Lou Montgomery, from Fidelity Personal Investing, said: “ M&S is clearly pulling out all the stops in a bid to turn its business around.

"It’s going head-to-head with the lower-cost supermarkets with hundreds of price reductions across its food range. "

What's being cut? Well the focus has been on popular products that families are likely to buy as part of their weekly shop.

"Over the past year the price of more than 400 high volume lines has been reduced by over 10%," M&S said in a statement.

"Investment was focused on core categories such as bakery, milk, meat and fresh produce; for example, vitamin D rich bread reduced from £1.15 to 65 pence and a rolling programme of 'fresh market specials'."

And it seems to be working, with food sales up 1.2% and the chain growing faster than the rest of the market.

Next up on the list to win over families is to increase fresh food sales by appealing to more people - including introducing new vegan Plant Kitchen products, as well as Street Market and Cook With ranges.

"These early steps to attract families and broaden customer shopping occasions have produced encouraging results," M&S said.

M&S is also taking action on food waste and product availability, successfully testing a new operating model at its York Vangarde store that will now be adopted by 85 more locations.

"Initial results have demonstrated a significant improvement in availability and waste levels," M&S said.

"Results will be assessed of the larger group following peak trading, before a wider roll out in 2020."

Chief executive Steve Rowe said: "Our transformation plan is now running at a pace and scale not seen before at Marks & Spencer. For the first time we are beginning to see the potential from the far reaching changes we are making.

"The Food business is outperforming the market. Our deal to create a joint venture with Ocado is complete and plans to transition to the M&S range are on track."

Source: Daily Mirror