‘Avocados at dawn as M&S and Waitrose prepare for clash after Ocado switchover’

George MacDonald

In just over a week’s time, a venture that Marks & Spencer hopes will be transformational goes live – its tie-up with online grocer Ocado, bringing its food range online for the first time.

When M&S used that label to describe the £750m investment, nobody knew that it would make its debut at a time when not just retail but everyday life has been transformed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shoppers have flocked online. Even though most retail sales still go through stores, M&S’ lack of presence in grocery etail was an Achilles heel at a food division that has been doing well overall. As the launch date for the Ocado joint venture looms, the deal takes on even greater importance than was previously envisaged.

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