M&S: latest shopping innovations
New initiatives from the retailer include food-to-go vending, rolling out its checkout-free shopping app, and opening a "store for the new world". M&S also prepares for the Ocado switch-on in September.
Trial for food-to-go vending
Cherwell Valley is the first M&S site to trial a new vending solution for M&S's food-to-go, reports The Grocer. A second trial site is also planned.
Vending offers a safe and efficient way for shoppers to access a limited range of products. Like Mobile, Pay, Go (see below), the initiative is well suited to shoppers seeking to minimise contact and maximise speed of shop. If rolled out, the initiative holds potential for M&S to extend its reach into new locations in a capital-light way.
New Nottingham store opening "fit for the new world"
M&S has opened a new full line store on Giltbrook Retail Park. Accessible to shoppers in both Derby and Nottingham, it will help M&S better reach the demographic in a convenient out-of-town location.
Key features include:
- Foodhall iterating latest format thinking from M&S's renewal stores - designed with a trolley rather than a basket in mind
- Mobile, Pay, Go check-out free shopping
- Click & collect located on the ground floor adjacent to Food for customer convenience
- M&S customer wifi across the entire retail park
- Local digital communication (eg the store is the first M&S clothing site to have its own Facebook page)
Mobile, Pay, Go roll-out
Over 300 M&S foodhalls now offer shoppers a checkout-free experience through the M&S app, as the retailer rolls out the functionality to an additional 200 stores. M&S first trialed the technology in a small number of stores in winter 2018.
Many grocers have renewed their focus on reducing friction points to help shoppers socially distance in-store. For example, Sainsbury's is currently trialing app-based virtual queuing.
M&S products go live on Ocado ahead of switch-on
Ocado shoppers can now add M&S products to their online shopping basket for orders from 1st September. The M&S range has increased by 750 products to fill potential gaps left by the removal of Waitrose products from the Ocado site. Over the coming months the total M&S range will grow to 6,000 items. New lines include household and grocery products, from scratch cooking and baking ingredients, and family pack sizes. Many of these new products are already available to buy in M&S stores.
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