Two Supermarket Giants Bang Heads Over Online Delivery Deal with Ocado
Morrisons has now partnered with online grocery delivery service Ocado in a 25-year deal, causing rival Waitrose, which has a 13-year-old partnership with Ocado, to seek council over whether there has been a breach of contract.
Although Ocado insists the Morrisons tie-up will have no impact on its long-standing partnership with Waitrose to deliver groceries, Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price has questioned the legitimacy of the new venture.
A Waitrose spokeswoman says the company has requested the details of the Morrisons deal: "Meanwhile, we have instructed lawyers so that we can get a clear and unequivocal view of the contract and examine what might constitute a breach."
Nevertheless, Morrisons is forging ahead with their Ocado partnership and is planning to launch their online grocery service, branded with "a clear Morrisons look and feel", by January 2014.
Their Chief Executive, Dalton Philips, commented: "This agreement is a significant strategic step for Morrisons. From a standing start, Morrisons will be competing in the fast growing on-line channel by the end of this year with a really compelling proposition. The customer gets our affordable fresh food delivered by Ocado's state of the art distribution system."