We take a first look at M&S’s new Food renewal trial store in Kent, as the retailer completes its deal with Ocado and the appointment of former M&S director as new chief exec for Ocado is announced.
New store format for M&S
M&S launched the first of its new trial stores Hempstead Valley in July. The retailer is taking a test and learn approach with its new “bigger, better, fresher” format.
Source: IGD Research
The 16,900 sq. ft store enables the retailer to offer a full 6,000 product range in-store. This, combined with the retailer's ongoing investment in value, is a key factor in enabling families to do a complete basket shop.
The store stands out for its market-style merchandising in fresh produce, increased emphasis on frozen, and new design of bakery. All three of these categories have a significant increase in space.
Retail Analysis subscribers can access our full store visit report to M&S Hempstead Valley here.
M&S completes deal with Ocado
M&S completes the £750m deal with Ocado which sees M&S acquire half of the Ocado Retail Ltd business.
The plans were initially announced in February, but Ocado will not start selling M&S products until September 2020.
The move brings together M&S’s brand and leading food quality with Ocado’s online capabilities.
Steve Rowe, CEO for M&S, commented on the news, “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.”
Ocado hires former M&S director
Former Marks & Spencer director Melanie Smith has been appointed as the new chief executive of Ocado Retail. The news aligns with the completion of the deal.
Smith will take on her new role on 1st September 2019 and will be responsible for overseeing the new joint venture.
She joins the business from M&S where she has acted as strategy director and a member of the executive committee for over two years.
Want to know more?
Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our 'Ocado Retail and M&S: an introduction to the new Joint Venture' presentation here.