Ocado accidentally replaces Waitrose items with M&S’ weeks ahead of switchover

Ocado has accidently replaced a number of Waitrose products with Marks & Spencer products weeks before the official switchover is due to take place.

Customers have reported finding M&S products in the place of Waitrose items which were reportedly out of stock.

The orders were made in late July, over a month before Ocado is set to replace Waitrose’s 4000 item-range with M&S’ 6000-item range as part of a new joint venture dubbed Ocado Retail.

According to Ocado, the substitutions were made in “error” for Waitrose goods which were out of stock.

“Due to a system error, a very small number of M&S products were substituted for out-of-stock, equivalent products, and incorrectly delivered to Ocado customers at the end of July,” Ocado said.

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

“This was swiftly corrected and we notified affected customers who were issued with a refund.”

M&S has been developing its own-brand range for Ocado for months, aiming to match the Waitrose range it was replacing so closely that customers would not be affected by the change.

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.

“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.”

While 4600 M&S items are currently listed on Ocado’s website, the official switchover is due to take place on September 1.

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