M & S plans a radical strategic change by exchanging clothes for products destined for the family market

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It's not just a supermarket … M & S expects a radical strategic change by opening huge grocery stores and exchanging clothes for products for the family food market

  • Marks & Spencer wants to convince families to buy groceries from its stores
  • The giant of the streets will raise some shops to convert clothing areas into food
  • M & S recently agreed to buy half of Ocado's retail business for £ 750m
  • Marks & Spencer's plan will see him go head-to-head with the Waitrose supermarket

Neil Craven for The Mail on Sunday

Marks & Spencer has developed plans to open a series of large supermarket stores to expand the range of food products offered and attract family buyers.

The high street giant says it wants to change the perception that its stores are for "singles and couples" and convince families to buy more weekly stores from their stores.

It is believed that M & S is planning to open more stores between 12,000 and 15,000 square feet – larger than an Olympic-size pool.

Marks & Spencer's plan will put him head-to-head with Waitrose with whom he collided in a price war of words. M & S insists that the recent price cuts introduced mean that average product prices are now cheaper than its high-end competitor [File photo]

Marks & Spencer's plan will put him head-to-head with Waitrose with whom he collided in a price war of words. M & S insists that the recent price cuts introduced mean that average product prices are now cheaper than its high-end competitor [File photo]

Marks & Spencer's plan will see him go head-to-head with Waitrose with whom he collided in a war of words about price. M & S insists that the recent price cuts introduced mean that average product prices are now cheaper than its high-end competitor [File photo]

And the radical strategy will include reviewing existing stores so that some areas that currently show clothes will be converted into food.

The details of the plan came to light in a letter sent by M & S to hundreds of its food suppliers last week.

Following is the recent announcement of a tie-up that will see M & S replace Waitrose as the main supplier of the grocery delivery company Ocado next year.

Marks & Spencer has agreed to buy half of Ocado's retail business for £ 750m. The agreement does not concern the technological arm of the company.

M & S stated that the agreement, revealed by The Mail on Sunday, concerns "the transformation of M & S and the transformation of online purchases in the United Kingdom".

The high street giant says it wants to change the perception that its stores are for "singles and couples" and persuade families to buy more weekly stores from their stores [File photo]

The high street giant says it wants to change the perception that its stores are for "singles and couples" and persuade families to buy more weekly stores from their stores [File photo]

The high street giant says it wants to change the perception that its stores are for "singles and couples" and convince families to buy more weekly stores from their stores [File photo]

Last week the letter from Stuart Machin, food director of Marks & Spencer, stated that devoting more space to food at the store would allow the company to compete with the Waitrose, Sainsbury and Tesco brands as destinations for the families that make their shop weekly.

Machin, who moved into his role a year ago, wrote: "The entire range will go online with Ocado and we are launching a store renewal program that will bring more products to customers with more M & S dining rooms big and best in existing sites.

"It is assumed that M & S Food is not a complete business," he said, referring to the criticism that the store chain does not have enough product lines to replicate Waitrose's deal with Ocado. & # 39; That is not true. Our complete range is unrivaled in taste and quality.

"We have over 6,500 lines … we simply don't put them in front of enough customers. Our complete range is only available in a dozen stores. This has to change, and it will be. & # 39;

The food industry is facing considerable upheavals with the rapid expansion of Aldi and Lidl and the increase in demand for online delivery.

Marks & Spencer's plan will see him go head-to-head with Waitrose with whom he collided in a war of words about price.

M & S insists that the recent price cuts introduced mean that average product prices are now cheaper than its high-end competitor.

And his new approach comes after years of underperformance in the apparel industry.

The details of the plan came to light in a letter sent by M & S to hundreds of its food suppliers last week. Following is the recent announcement of a tie-up that will see M & S replace Waitrose as the main supplier of the Ocado grocery delivery company next year [File photo]

The details of the plan came to light in a letter sent by M & S to hundreds of its food suppliers last week. Following is the recent announcement of a tie-up that will see M & S replace Waitrose as the main supplier of the Ocado grocery delivery company next year [File photo]

The details of the plan came to light in a letter sent by M & S to hundreds of its food suppliers last week. Following is the recent announcement of a tie-up that will see M & S replace Waitrose as the main supplier of the Ocado grocery delivery company next year [File photo]

An M & S member admitted last night when he was asked about the letter: "Changes in the retail market take place faster than ever and doing nothing is no longer an option".

In the letter, Machin describes Ocado's agreement as "our biggest and most daring move to date". He added: "We have reached a turning point in our business".

But he said he wants to "uproot some myths" and "the misunderstanding" that M & S is for singles and couples.

"We have invested heavily in the price since entering the business," he said.

"We are approaching and we are more attentive to families, our main target customer."

Ocado is run by co-founder Tim Steiner who recently bought a £ 25m super-yacht that he named Silver Fox.

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