Ocado is 'inflating' prices of M&S in-store items, say shoppers

Ocado is 'inflating' prices of M&S in-store items, say shoppers

October 7, 2020

Ocado shoppers accuse online retailer of ‘inflating’ the prices of M&S in-store items by up to 25% since they joined forces on home deliveries last month

  • One customer noticed the exact same kitchen towels sold for 20p more online
  • Chopped Italian Tomatoes cost 5p more online; and Mexican rice is 15p more
  • Another tweeted: ‘M&S store prices are 10p to £2.70 less than the Ocado price’
  • Ocado said: ‘Although we sell M&S products on our site, we are still two separate companies… we operate differently and set different prices independently’

Furious Ocado shoppers have accused the online retailer of ‘inflating’ prices of Marks and Spencer items on their site.

M&S food items have been spotted listed for sale at up to 25% more on the Ocado website than those found in store.

M&S, who have owned 50% of Ocado’s retail arms since 2019, recently launched home deliveries with the provider on 1 September.

M&S food items have been spotted listed for sale at up to 25% more on the Ocado website than those found in store. Above, Mexican rice on sale in store for 60p – but 75p online

Kitchen towel is also more expensive – £1.50 compared to the same in-store product costing £1.30. The discrepancy was spotted by Ross Farmer, from Sittingbourne, Kent, who drew the comparison between his online shop and M&S items found at his local store

However, disgruntled customers claim to have found discrepancies in pricing across the two retailers, leading some to cancel their subscriptions.

Among those to complain is Ross Farmer, from Sittingbourne, Kent, who noticed a ‘price hike’ between his online shop and M&S products found at his local store.

He posted photos on Twitter on Saturday highlighting the different prices which included the exact same kitchen towels being sold for 20p more online and lettuce being sold for 10p more.

He also shared a snap of M&S’ Chopped Italian Tomatoes on sale for 5p more online and a sachet of Mexican rice being sold for 15p more.

The 31-year-old shared the images and said: ‘As a loyal customer for 5 years I’m shocked to learn that you’re inflating M&S prices on your website. 4 M&S items on Ocado cost 50p more than M&S in store.

‘I’m trying @waitrose delivery. It’s not M&S that’s pushing me away it’s #OcadoLostTrust. What’s going on?’

Mr Farmer, 31, shared the images, including these tomatoes, online. He said: ‘As a loyal customer for 5 years I’m shocked to learn that you’re inflating M&S prices on your website. 4 M&S items on Ocado cost 50p more than M&S in store’

Just the tip of the iceberg? Another price difference was spotted with lettuce – 60p in store… but 70p on Ocado’s website

His thoughts were echoed by fellow shopper @loismagic who wrote: ‘I’ve noticed this too.

‘They also don’t do offers, such as items that are usually £3 each, or 2 for £5 in store – they’re just £3 each on Ocado – it’s very annoying, and unfair for people who are shielding!’

Julie Nightingale agreed, saying: ‘In store their prices are 10p to £2.70 less than what the price is on Ocado.’

And @BootieBot said: ‘I thought this was my imagination! Apart from the price hikes, a lot of the basic / low cost items are permanently out of stock anyway. Have to go elsewhere which is a shame.’

In response to Ross’ complaint, a member of Ocado’s social media team responded saying: ‘Although we sell M&S products on our site, we are still two separate companies.

‘This means that we operate differently and set different prices independently from each other as it legally required for two separate companies.’

They added this means prices could differ in both directions online and in store.

In response to Ross Farmer’s (above) complaint, a member of Ocado’s social media team responded saying: ‘Although we sell M&S products on our site, we are still two separate companies. This means that we operate differently and set different prices independently from each other as it legally required for two separate companies’

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