Waitrose eats into Ocado’s market share despite M&S deal

Waitrose has reportedly stolen some online market share from its former partner Ocado in the first few weeks of Ocado’s new joint venture with Marks and Spencer.

According to The Sunday Times, in the first two weeks after the launch of Ocado’s new partnership, its weekly online orders dropped from 345,000 to 328,000. However, Waitrose has seen its online performance increase by 20% or by an additional 190,000 orders.

It is thought that it comes after Ocado’s automated distribution facilities were unable to keep up with demand when compared with the ‘store-pick’ model used by chains like Waitrose.

Earlier this year Ocado issued an apology to its customers for being unable to meet the demand for its deliveries, which it said was 10 times higher than usual.

As a result, it has also released a series of new measures including prioritising government shield list members and stopping orders from new customers.

The apology was issued in a blog post attributed to the online grocer’s chief executive Mel Smith who said: “We know that many of you are not getting as much access to our deliveries as you would like.

“I also know from your feedback that we haven’t done a good enough job yet of explaining to our customers what we are doing. We are sorry, and we know how frustrating it must be to not be able to rely on our normal service. Trust us, it isn’t because we don’t want to be delivering more.”

She revealed that since the pandemic started, the retailer had seen web traffic up to 100 times higher and enquiries into its contact centre up 500%.

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