Marks & Spencer ‘Not Unhappy’ With Ocado, Says Chairman

By Reuters
Marks & Spencer ‘Not Unhappy’ With Ocado, Says Chairman

Marks & Spencer is “not unhappy” with the current performance of Ocado Retail, according to the company’s chairman Archie Norman.

The online supermarket retailer Ocado Retail is a joint venture between M&S and Ocado Group.

In its year to 30 March, M&S’s share of Ocado Retail’s adjusted loss increased to more than £37 million, and M&S have previously been critical of the joint venture’s management.

Norman told a meeting of investors in response to a question on Tuesday, “Overall, we’re not unhappy with where Ocado (Retail) is.

“Of course, there’s a lot to do… but there’s a lot good going on.”


M&S chief executive Stuart Machin said, “The bad news is our of the way,” as he highlighted Ocado Retail’s strong current retail growth.

“The more growth we get… the more cost benefits we can get, and the more value we can pass on to customers,” Machin said.

He also noted a greater proportion of M&S being sold on the retail site.

'Always Hard Work'

Machin said that if M&S’s current UK grocery market share from store of 3.6% estimated by researcher NIQ is added to its sales from Ocado Retail, its market share would be in line or more than that of Waitrose.

However, the retailer and Ocado Group are still wrangling over the final payment for M&S’s share of the joint venture which was formed in 2019.


M&S says the joint venture has not met the performance criteria for payment.

Ocado Group says that M&S should adjust the target and has threatened legal action.

Norman said, “A joint venture’s always hard work, there’s always little points of friction.”

Last month, Ocado Group’s shares slumped after the online group said its Canadian supermarket partner Sobeys had paused the opening of a fourth robotic warehouse.

In May, M&S reported a 58% rise in profits in its 2023 annual results.

Read More: UK Grocery Sales Slow Down In Wet Weather – NIQ

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