Ocado and Marks & Spencer will be in focus next week as the joint venture between the grocers posts results for the three months to August. 

Ocado Retail, half-owned by M&S, has been hammered by the rising cost of living, with shoppers ordering less and also trading down to cheaper products. 

It has also struggled since the pandemic-fuelled boom in online grocery shopping ended – with sales falling behind levels seen since Covid-19 struck. 

Ocado’s shares have fallen 55 per cent this year, while M&S is down by 49 per cent. 

On Tuesday analysts will be looking at whether the online grocer – which sells Ocado and M&S products – is losing shoppers to more affordable rivals. The grocers typically attract wealthier customers. 

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter said there is a risk they go elsewhere ‘or at least occasionally shop around’. 

She said: ‘Investors will be watching closely to see if hard won market share gains are showing signs of unravelling.’ 

Ocado’s shares are particularly depressed amid a global sell-off of loss-making technology firms. The group’s focus is firmly on its tech arm, which sells automated grocery delivery technology to grocery stores around the world. 

Shares topped £28 during the pandemic as the shift to online grocery shopping was turbocharged. But they have fallen back amid questions about when the firm will become profitable. They closed yesterday worth under £8. 

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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