M&S beefs up its booze range ahead of its official debut on Ocado by stocking SEVEN times more wines, beers and spirits than rival Waitrose including 26 new rosés and 10 varieties of pink fizz
- Marks & Spencer officially launches on online supermarket Ocado September 1
- Has added considerably more alcohol products to its range than Waitrose
- Stocks 10 sparking rose varieties and 26 roses – Waitrose has none on Ocado
- Is also also 13 more varieties of sparkling wine and much bigger range of reds
Marks and Spencer has beefed up its booze range ahead of its official launch on Ocado next month – and looks set to cash in on the pink fizz trend.
The British retailer is taking over the online supermarket when it parts ways with Waitrose on September 1.
And M&S is already stocking seven times more wines, beers and spirits than its rival and is clearly hoping to capitalise on the growing popularity of rose and sparkling wine.
According to new data from Edge by Ascential’s e-commerce analytics SaaS platform, Digital Shelf, M&S is gearing up to sell a much wider and bigger range of alcohol products than what Waitrose currently offers.
Marks and Spencer has beefed up its booze range ahead of its official launch on Ocado next month – and looks set to cash in on the pink fizz trend. Pictured: stock image
As of August 25, Waitrose sells no rose wine or sparkling rose on Ocado, while M&S is listing 26 and 10 respectively.
M&S also lists considerably more red wines – 102 compared to seven – as well as 82 varities of white wine against Waitrose’s 13.
The trend continues with spirits and beers, lagers, ales and ciders, with M&S listing 36 varieties of both the former and the latter, compared with Waitrose’s seven and eight.
When it comes to grocery products, M&S looks to be dominating in the shelf-stable food category, accounting for 46.3 per cent of the ranges on offer. This compares to 39 per cent for Waitrose.
But Waitrose – which is listing fewer products overall – has a higher percentage share (54.2 per cent) of products within the chilled food category despite it having less products than M&S.
M&S is already stocking seven times more wines, beers and spirits than its rival and is clearly hoping to capitalise on the growing popularity of rose and sparkling wine. As of August 25, Waitrose sells no rose wine or sparkling rose on Ocado, while M&S is listing 26 and 10 respectively (pictured)
Waitrose is currently ahead of M&S in the home care category (7.4 per cent of products compared to 0.3 per cent), which includes items such as cleaning products, as well as health and beauty (1.7 per cent versus 0.9 per cent).
The Edge Digital Shelf data also showed that the Waitrose range on Ocado has reduced by 33.5 per cent since the start of the year – which included an 8.5 per cent drop in the first week of January.
Ocado began listing its M&S range on the site in mid-August – though it wasn’t for sale. As of August 25, there were 20.7 per cent more M&S products on there than Waitrose items.
Chris Elliott, Digital Shelf analyst at Edge by Ascential, said: ‘Given all of these products are still listed as unavailable for purchase and we’re still seeing lines added, it’s reasonable to assume this is not the finalised range before full launch on September 1.
‘However, it does give us a good insight into the product ranges and offering we can expect from M&S on Ocado after the launch.
‘It appears that M&S is focussing on the convenience and grocery products that we are used to seeing in its M&S food halls, such as alcohol, chilled foods and shelf-stable products and we can expect this will be a strong aspect of M&S’ offering.
Ocado began listing its M&S range on the site in mid-August – though it wasn’t for sale. As of August 25, there were 20.7 per cent more M&S products on there than Waitrose items
‘However, there are certain categories where it seems that M&S will need to work harder on if it wants to measure up to Waitrose’s previous offering.
‘This includes investing more in the home care category – something that is an everyday essential and part of many consumers’ shopping baskets.’
Ahead of the Ocado tie-up launch M&S has dropped prices to undercut its upmarket rival on thousands of items such as honey roast ham, tinned tomatoes and organic cucumbers.
At the same time both supermarkets are preparing an advertising blitz in a bid to win over undecided customers.
M&S hopes the move will help expand its customer base by moving away from selling pricey ready meals and lunchtime sandwiches to commuters, to target price-savvy family shoppers.
But earlier this month M&S revealed it will axe 7,000 staff across its stores, hitting around 12 per cent of their 60,000 staff.
As part of its tie-up with Ocado, M&S will put 6,000 products online, including replacements for the 4,000 Waitrose products which are available through the online supermarket
It said sales had dropped 29.9 per cent in its clothing and home arm in the eight weeks since shops reopened, compared to last year, but held up in food, with a 2.5 per cent rise.
A smaller number of support centre and regional management workers will also be affected and the cuts represent just over 8 per cent of its 85,000 staff worldwide. But the retailer expects a ‘significant’ percentage will come through voluntary departures and early retirement.
It also said that it would create some jobs through investing further in online warehousing and its new ambient food warehouse.
As part of its tie-up with Ocado, which cost M&S £750million, it will put 6,000 of its products online, including replacements for the 4,000 Waitrose products which are available through the online supermarket.
M&S has pledged that all its replacement products will be the same price or cheaper than their equivalent Waitrose items, and in some cases it has priced items just a few pennies cheaper.
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