M&S focuses on price in new campaign ahead of Ocado launch

As Marks & Spencer prepares to launch its Ocado partnership next month, the retailer wants to encourage more families to do larger grocery shops with it rather than rivals.

Marks & Spencer is looking to highlight its lower ‘everyday’ prices ahead of its Ocado partnership in a new campaign.

The grocer has been lowering prices for the past 18 months on its food but is hoping a new TV ad will show viewers the “remarksable” cost of its every day goods.

The campaign is a shift from M&S’s iconic ‘This is not just food ads that focus on quality but is part of a new strategy the retailer hopes will lead to more families doing bigger shops with the retailer.

Launched last year, Remarksable aims to encourage customers to do fuller, more regular shops at M&S with the aim of “debunking myths” around the price of its food.

Key grocery staples, such as bread, milk, cheese, eggs, salmon and mince, will feature in the campaign to show customers that M&S food is cheaper than they may think.

M&S Food’s marketing director, Sharry Cramond, says: “We want both our existing customers and new customers to see that whilst we won’t compromise on our high quality standards, our remarksable campaign shows we can deliver great products at fantastic value.”

The campaign coincides with a swathe of new products launched as part of its remarksable line and will run for three weeks to the launch of its Ocado  delivery service on 1 September.

M&S bought half of Ocado’s retail business last year for £750m, in the process replacing Waitrose on the delivery service. The switchover is expected to prompt a battle for high-spending and loyal shoppers.

M&S food managing director Stuart Machin adds: “We have spent the past 18 months continuously upgrading our quality and at the same time investing in price and now customers can see the result as 240 key staple items are the most competitively priced in recent history.

“We will never compromise on our quality but our strategy is to maintain our high sourcing standards whilst providing truly better value for customers and our early work is already starting to resonate.”

M&S has been forced to redraft its group strategy amid a steep decline in clothing sales. The retailer has struggled to reposition its clothing ranges which have consistently been at a loss, with the grocer focusing on its successful food business – looking to double the size of it over the next five years.

In May M&S announced cutting its marketing spend on clothing and home by £50m with the retailer’s chairman Archie Norman arguing that there is “no point” in spending a lot of money in marketing when there are no customers there.