Waitrose says it is “flattered” that M&S’ Ocado range is “near-identical” to its own

Waitrose said it was “flattered” that Marks & Spencer’s range of food on Ocado was “near-identical” to its own range.

M&S products have now replaced Waitrose range on Ocado’s website as the pair prepare for the launch of their joint venture on September 1.

More than 4600 M&S products appeared on Ocado’s website last week for the first time, and customers can begin adding them to their baskets for delivery next month.

In a statement, M&S said: “We have replaced as many Waitrose products as possible with an existing M&S product, or a new one that is being specifically developed by M&S.

READ MORE: M&S warns many customers “won’t be able to secure a delivery slot straight away” ahead of online debut

“There are a few products that haven’t been replaced, such as the low-sellers that would naturally have been removed in our range’s normal evolution.

“Whether the original products were from the premium range or the Essentials range, we have matched or improved the quality and value wherever we can.”

In response Waitrose, who is due to cut ties with Ocado after a 19-year working relationship, said it was flattered that “its products were proving to be such an inspiration”.

“Our team of chefs work on a third of our entire range each year and have been busy preparing for Waitrose.com becoming the only place to buy our food online from September.”

Despite widespread excitement surrounding the upcoming partnership, which will see M&S sell online for the first time in its history, the retailer has warned customers may have to wait to get delivery slots.

In an email sent to customers M&S said that the “last few months have been particularly busy for Ocado, and while every effort is being made to increase capacity, the extra demand may mean you won’t be able to secure a delivery slot straight away.

“As demand eases, more slots should start to become available, so more customers can start to enjoy the brilliant combination of M&S’ great quality and value food and Ocado’s market leading service.”

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