By Amy Hunt
Yes, you heard that right. You could soon be getting your Percy Pigs, lunch-time wraps and salads, and delicious ready meals delivered straight to your doorstep in as little as an hour.
Marks & Spencer announced that they are launching a trial online food delivery service in the autumn in Camden, north London and Woodley, near Reading.
With a minimum order of £10, customers can benefit from the home delivery service within one and two-hour slots within a three mile radius.
Currently, the Reading store offers a collection-only service with a two-hour turnaround.
The retailer has, up until now, refrained from joining the likes of Ocado, Tesco and Sainsbury's in delivering food to their customers.
Marks & Spencer bosses have revealed that previously it didn't make sense for them to offer an online delivery service, seeing as most people don't spend enough in one shop to cover the cost. And it makes sense - most of us will usually pop in for a last-minute dinner, or our work-day lunch.
But bosses at the company have admitted that they can't continue to ignore the growing consumer trend of shopping online any longer, especially considering how the UK's online food market is expected to double to £17.2 billion by 2020.
We've all used the traditional supermarket delivery before. But now, even more companies, such as Amazon - with AmazonFresh - and Deliveroo, are delivering to homes, meaning that the way the British public eat is changing drastically. And Marks & Spencer bosses have admitted that they need to do the same if they want to keep up.
Steve Rowe, chief executive of M&S, said, "We continue to review food online carefully. It has not cost us anything over the last five years by not being online with food. Our customers haven't moved yet, but they will and we need to ensure that we are ready with the right response. "There are unanswered questions over what this means for M&S and we have a team looking at this now with a view to undertaking a soft trial in the autumn."
At the moment, Marks & Spencer have a limited selection of party food and alcohol on their website for delivery. But if you want anything else delivered to the comfort of your home, you'll have to wait until this new change comes into force.
Rowe added, "The economics of food online are not straightforward and it is not something that we are going to rush into until we have substantial customer insight and a better understanding of what is right for M&S and right for our customers." Tony Shiret, an independent retail analyst speaking to The Guardian, said that it was about time M&S hop on board the home delivery train. He said, "If they don't do food online they stand to lose market share to people who do. It's become a basic expectation from customers."
This is not just standard home delivery; this is Marks & Spencer-style home delivery. We can't wait until the autumn now...
Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com. She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.
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