Ocado Partners with Marks & Spencer as Waitrose Revamps Products
ENGLAND - Last December, Ocado, a big-name Kroger partner and a formiddable online supermarket, established a new partnership with Marks & Spencer to bring 6,000 M&S products to its site. Waitrose, a British grocery giant and former Ocado partner, is putting its own strategy in motion as it prepares to launch thousands of new and revamped products in the coming months to stay competitive without Ocado on its arm.
According to The Guardian, Waitrose’s deal with Ocado will finish at the end of August, when the online grocer will begin its partnership with Marks & Spencer. The switchover is a high risk for all the brands involved, stated the news release, since Ocado risks losing loyal Waitrose shoppers while Waitrose, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership, will have to persuade shoppers to use its own website instead. Ocado’s upcoming full-year results is anticipated to contain an update on the M&S joint venture.
Thomas Davies, a Retail Analyst at Berenberg Bank, asserted that Ocado's partnership with M&S will introduce new shoppers to M&S—shoppers who have potentially been waiting to buy M&S grocery items online.
In anticipation of the new partnership, Waitrose is staying competitive with a strategy that will introduce 5,000 new or reformulated products—almost a third of the 17,000 own-label products sold under house brands such as Duchy, Essential Waitrose, and No.1.
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