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Marks & Spencer looks to online food shopping to boost sales
by Daily Mail Reporter - 14/10/2009
"Marks & Spencer is planning to set up an online food shopping service.
The chain has flirted with the idea in the past but always stepped back because of the huge costs of setting up the distribution network.
But yesterday Steve Rowe, the company's director of retail, told City analysts in London: '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.'
One problem is that it sells a limited range of 3,000 own-label products and delivering a limited number of items to each customer would make setting up a distribution network too costly.
However, M&S chiefs are looking at also selling major brands, such as Kellogg's corn flakes, Heinz beans and Coca-Cola.
That would allow customers to carry out their full weekly shop using the M&S service.
The popularity of grocery shopping on the internet will grow for another decade, says the web retail body IMRG. A spokesman said: 'Working people are reluctant to lose their weekends to food shopping.'
Among the other big ideas unveiled yesterday as part of M&S's Project 2020 are plans for expansion into China and India.
Finance director Ian Dyson said: 'We've established a long-term vision for the business.
'At the heart of this vision is moving the business from being product-focused, store-centric and UK-dominated to being customer-focused, multi-channel and international.'
More Details: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1220159/Marks--Spencer-looks-online-food-shopping-boost-sales.html