Marks and Spencer considers online grocery shopping


Marks and Spencer (M&S) has revealed it is considering establishing an online food shopping service.

The retailing giant has been toying with the idea for some time but opted out due to the costs associated with setting up the service.

However, Steve Rowe, the company’s director of retail, told City analysts in London yesterday: “Food online is something our customers clearly want so it is inevitable that we will take our food offer online at some point.”

“What I can’t say now is exactly how or when we will choose to do that”, he added.

The company is also looking at selling major brands such as Coca-Cola, Heinz baked beans and Kellogg’s cereal products, so that customers can do their full weekly grocery shop online.

According to web retail body IMRG, the popularity of grocery shopping on the internet will grow for another 10 years.

In the meantime, it was announced last week that M&S is no longer Britain’s most popular fashion retailer.

Shoppers seeking bargains amid the economic downturn means Asda’s George and discount clothing retailer Primark are the nation’s first and second favourite clothes shops.

The budget fashion chains are luring shoppers away from the more expensive retailers and this was highlighted last month after Primark reported a 9% rise in sales.

According to figures from the TNS Worldpanel Fashion show, Asda’s Geroge recorded its highest ever total volume market share for clothes sold at 10.1% in the 12 weeks to August 17.

Primark was a close second with 9.9%, while M&S was third at 9.8%.

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