Ocado chairman Stuart Rose, himself a former head of M&S, has called on the High Street retailer to embrace online grocery services in the face of growing consumer demand.
The internet grocery specialists believe that the market is set to explode as consumers shirk the High Street in favour of the online superhighway.
At present M&S offers only a skeleton online service, allowing customers to purchase party food, as well as an online fishmonger and butcher offering ‘unusual cuts of meat’ – all for in-store collection….
This places it well behind supermarket rivals such as Tesco and Asda which offer their own delivery services.
Addressing the Internet Retailing Conference, Rose said: “"By next year, M&S will be the only large grocer that doesn't have [an online grocery service]. If the customer wants it, eventually they are going to have to provide it."
M&S is thought unlikely to perform a volte face on the issue however as its own internal analysis has shown that individual shoppers spend too little per trip to make home delivery a viable proposition.