Marks & Spencer has gone ahead with a one-hour pilot food delivery service, finally shouldering up to grocery rivals in the hotly contested convenience war.

Talk of such a proposition has circulated since April, but the implementation of two new services today – albeit on a trial basis – marks a step change in the retailer’s approach to food retailing.

The Camden branch in North London is the guinea pig for M&S’ fledgling home delivery service, and Woodley near Reading the home of its test click-and-collect proposition.

M&S seems serious about not over-committing just yet. At only two branches and available exclusively to select Sparks customers, the pilot is tiny.

If successful, this could open the high street stalwart up to a whole host of new opportunities to hold its own against, not just UK grocery opponents, but disruptors in the sector such as Amazon Fresh and Deliveroo.

Elsewhere today, Fenwick has appointed Dixons Carphone’s David Cutts as its first ever chief information officer, and Poundland has given its top team a reshuffle as it gears up for European expansion.

Quote of the day

“We couldn’t be happier to be opening a flagship store in the heart of central London at Oxford Circus, where two of the world’s most iconic shopping streets meet.

“This will be so much more than just a great place to experience all that is possible with Microsoft, but a real hub for the community where we’ll be bringing to life our passion for helping people explore their creativity through an ambitious programme of workshops and training along with moments that work to unite the community.”

Microsoft UK chief executive Cindy Rose confirming the Retail Week scoop that it is opening its first UK store

Today in numbers


The number of Dealz stores Poundland’s parent company has opened in France


The size in square feet of’s new London distribution centre, due to open next year

Monday’s agenda

Look out on Monday for results from German discount grocer Aldi  

Emily Hardy, senior reporter