British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is bringing food to the fore in an overhaul of its stores to target families’ weekly food shop, the Mail on Sunday has reported.
In a letter to hundreds of its grocery suppliers, M&S said it wanted to bring its full range of 6,500 food products to more stores to encourage customers to undertake bigger shopping trips.
Currently the full range is only available in about a dozen stores.
Marks & Spencer is understood to be planning to convert more space in existing stores into food halls and open more stores of between 12,000 and 15,000 square feet in size in better locations for customers who want to do food shopping.
In the letter M&S said it was not getting its line of food products “in front of enough customers”.
“This must change, and it will. 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,” the letter said.
Last month M&S confirmed a deal with grocery delivery firm Ocado, replacing Waitrose as the main supplier. Marks & Spencer agreed to buy half of Ocado’s retail business for £750 million.
Many critics said that shoppers did not spend enough on each M&S shop to justify an online delivery service, but the retailer will be hoping that with additional products available, shoppers will buy more.