Waitrose invests £10m to compete with Ocado

Feb 21, 2011

Business Digest: Former allies will fight it out for 'key battleground' of London

Waitrose looks set to go head to head with Ocado as the supermarket chain prepares to relaunch its website and home delivery service with a £10m investment.

Ocado, a grocery delivery service, currently offers Waitrose products on its website. Whilst the companies will continue to work together in most of the UK, they will compete for dominance in the key inner-M25 area. "We have been co-existing, or competing to use another word, for a long time," said a Waitrose spokesman. "There is room for both."

There has been speculation about such a move since the John Lewis pension trust sold its 10.4 per cent stake in Ocado a few weeks ago. John Lewis owns Waitrose, which has 244 branches in the UK.

As a result, shares in Ocado were down 15.6p to 243p in Monday morning trading.

Waitrose.com is due to go live in mid-March, with a full delivery scheme in operation by July. Morrisons and M&S have also recently announced plans to move into the online delivery market.

Read a full report at the Guardian.

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