Inside Business

Ocado struggles tarnish the departure of M&S chief who fixed core business

His successors at least have something to work with even as the cost of living crisis is exacting a heavy toll on Ocado Retail, which is 50 per cent owned by M&S after the outgoing CEO’s pricey buy-in, writes James Moore

Wednesday 25 May 2022 21:30
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<p>M&S Food: Steve Rowe’s bet on this business helped revive the struggling retailer </p>

M&S Food: Steve Rowe’s bet on this business helped revive the struggling retailer

We’ve become accustomed to Ocado’s shopping basket looking bright and shiny but lately it has become tarnished.

The firm, owned 50-50 by Ocado and Marks & Spencer, has seen sales tumble further in recent weeks as shoppers bought less because of the cost of living crisis. It said on Wednesday that sales fell 8 per cent in the quarter to 25 April, on top of a 5.7 per cent fall in the previous quarter.

The horror show of a trading update somewhat soured Steve Rowe’s last day as chief executive of M&S, a company he has done much to revive. He is the one who orchestrated the high-price deal in which M&S bought into Ocado Retail.

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