// M&S contacts food suppliers for help in reducing costs following joint venture with Ocado
// Food managing director Stuart Machin said M&S will make more of its full range available to consumers through larger food halls
// He said the belief M&S food was expensive is a “misunderstanding”
Marks & Spencer has reached out food suppliers to request help in reducing prices and driving volumes as it anticipates its joint venture with online grocer Ocado.
M&S’s food managing director Stuart Machin wrote a letter – as seen by Retail Week – that the deal would be “transformational” but that supplier buy-in will be necessary.
Machin also noted that M&S would make more of its full range available to consumers through larger food halls.
“To our mutual benefit, we need to improve efficiencies, drive volume and deliver growth. We cannot do this without the full support and backing of our supplier partners,” he wrote.
“Like our joint venture with Ocado, we need true partnerships with both sides contributing and both sides benefiting.
“Now is the time for you to play your part in the transformation of M&S Food.
“The full range will go online with Ocado and we are starting a store renewal programme that will get more products in front of more customers with bigger, better M&S Food Halls in new and existing sites.”
Machin also said the belief that M&S food was expensive is a “misunderstanding”.
“We constantly measure ourselves and know that, including promotions, we are 2-3 per cent cheaper than Waitrose,” he said.
“But we can be even more competitive by providing outstanding quality, innovation and truly better value.”