Marks & Spencer in secret talks with Ocado over online shopping deal, reports say

Potential tie-up comes as M&S closes dozens of stores to focus on food business

Caitlin Morrison
Monday 28 January 2019 09:48 GMT
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Marks & Spencer has been holding secret talks with Ocado regarding plans to launch an online food delivery service, according to a report.

A deal between the two firms would bring to an end the longstanding partnership between Waitrose and Ocado, but would not affect the online-only retailer’s deal with Morrisons, the Mail on Sunday reported.

M&S began testing an online shopping service last year, however only party food or catering for corporate events is currently available to order online.

The retailer has become increasingly reliant on its food business to turn a profit, as clothing sales have dwindled in recent years.

Last year the company announced it would close more than 100 stores by 2022, in a bid to “radically reshape M&S’s clothing and home space”.

At the time, the group said it would also concentrate on improving its online offering.

Last week M&S confirmed the latest round of closures, which puts 1,045 jobs at risk.

Shares in Marks & Spencer were up more than 1.5 per cent and Ocado stock rose 3.8 per cent in early trading on Monday.

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