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Marks & Spencer (M&S)

M&S will test online grocery service this autumn

UK retailer Marks and Spencer will start testing its own online grocery shopping service later this year, as more and more of its customers are shopping online. Just a week after M&S said it will open 36 new physical stores across the UK during the next six months, of which 34 will be dedicated to food, the retail company is now making a move towards online shopping.

The Telegraph cites CEO Steve Rowe who said that the company continues to review food online carefully. “It has not cost us anything over the last five years by not being online with food. Our customers haven’t moved yet, but they will and we need to ensure that we are ready with the right response.”

M&S is focusing on its food business

Plans are for M&S to start this autumn with a soft trial for its online grocery shopping service. The UK retailer already sells party food, wine and gift goods such as chocolate and sweets, but doesn’t sell groceries online. Meanwhile it’s focusing more and more on food in its physical stores as well. Last year, the company decided to close 30 stores across the country, while converting 45 other stores into Simply Food-only stores. It looks like M&S is slowly shifting from clothing to food.

This is also shown by the news of last week that Marks & Spencer will open 36 new UK stores of which just two of those will include clothing and homewares. The remaining 34 new stores are fully dedicated to M&S’s booming food business.

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