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Ocado Retail boss Mel Smith made CBE in New Year Honours list

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
·1-min read

The boss of Ocado and M&S’s retail collaboration, Mel Smith, has been made a CBE in recognition for her service to the retail sector and efforts to keep food on tables during the pandemic.

Last year, Ms Smith was appointed to lead Ocado Retail, the £1.5 billion joint venture between Marks & Spencer and Ocado.

Ms Smith, who had previously been strategy director at M&S, led the preparations for the launch of the tie-up in September 2020, amid soaring grocery demand in the face of the pandemic.

Ocado hailed the new delivery deal, saying that customers were buying more M&S goods than they did Waitrose products, in Ocado’s previous grocery partnership.

The retail operation, which hired thousands of new staff during the year, also adapted to another jump in demand when England’s second national lockdown came into force in November.

“This award is for the whole of Ocado Retail,” Ms Smith said.

“2020 has been a remarkable year for everyone, including those working in the grocery retail sector.

“I’ve been humbled and totally inspired by the amazing job that my team has done this year.

“As well as navigating the challenges of the pandemic, we also managed the biggest change to our range in two decades, with the launch of M&S at Ocado.

“This will be an unforgettable year for everyone. I’m proud of the role that Ocado continues to play in feeding the nation during these difficult times.”