Marks & Spencer is looking to break into frozen ready meals and launch a babyfood range.
The retailer plans to launch about a dozen meals into freezers next spring. Although sales of frozen ready meals have slumped since the horsemeat scandal - by 6.5% year on year [Nielsen 52 w/e 17 August 2013] - M&S said there would be demand for M&S quality products.
As part of a strategy to close perceived gaps in its food range, the retailer also plans launch into babyfood. “We want to be more relevant to more people, more often,” said M&S executive director of food Steve Rowe.
M&S is currently increasing the range of food in its stores. Through better use of space, it has boosted the variety of lines it sells by 13% over the past year.
“Despite a lot of newness, we weren’t seeing enough of the range in stores,” said Rowe. “There was a clear opportunity to improve our densities.”
The retailer also plans to double the rate of Simply Food store openings to 150 over the next three years and has signed a deal with Relay France to open 10 stores in Paris by 2018.