Ocado has suspended deliveries to staff as it struggles to deal with a "surge in demand" following its tie-up with Marks and Spencer.
<p>It comes after the popularity of the <strong><a href="https://news.sky.com/story/m-s-launches-transformative-online-food-tie-up-with-ocado-12060790" target="_blank">launch earlier this week</a></strong> saw some orders being cancelled on day one, prompting disgruntlement among customers and an apology from Ocado.</p><p>Two days later, on Thursday, one customer unable to obtain a delivery slot was told that they had "sold out… for the next few days".</p><p>Now it has emerged that staff, who receive a 15% discount on their orders, have been told they will have to wait - a move that was first reported by Retail Week.</p><p>A spokesperson for Ocado said: "The M&S launch has been incredibly popular.</p><p>"To help minimise the impact of the surge in demand on our customers, the deliveries for Ocado colleagues were paused for the first few days.</p><p>"We are very grateful to everyone at Ocado for how understanding they have been about our decision to prioritise customer deliveries, and also for the heroic efforts everyone has made over the last few months."</p><p>Marks & Spencer's food range is being sold online for the first time under the joint venture after Ocado split from Waitrose, its previous partner.</p><p>Delivery vans were branded with M&S's popular Percy Pigs sweets range to mark the occasion.</p> <p>But customers expressed their disgruntlement after what Ocado described as a "very small number of orders" were cancelled on the day of the launch on Tuesday.</p><p>Justin Rose, the former Sainsbury's boss who is now a non-executive director at M&S, told Sky's Ian King Live that there were "a couple of thousand or so deliveries which Ocado struggled with".</p> <p><strong>:: Subscribe to the Daily podcast on <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/sky-news-daily/id951048357?mt=2" target="_blank">Apple Podcasts</a>, <a href="https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuc3ByZWFrZXIuY29tL3Nob3cvMzI4NzI0Ni9lcGlzb2Rlcy9mZWVk" target="_blank">Google Podcasts</a>, <a href="https://open.spotify.com/show/3RdXZrbbG3NydLsPYmRSJy" target="_blank">Spotify</a>, <a href="https://www.spreaker.com/show/sky-news-daily" target="_blank">Spreaker</a></strong></p><p>Ocado's boss Tim Steiner had publicly criticised former partner Waitrose ahead of the launch, after an ad campaign in which it told customers "we'll take it from here" after the two split.</p><p>Mr Steiner told The Sunday Times: "Well, they can't take it from here because they don't have the technology, the infrastructure or the systems."</p> <p>Waitrose executive director James Bailey batted off the criticism, telling Sky's Ian King Live: "Tim runs a very good IT business and Waitrose runs a good supermarket."</p>