Marks & Spencer customers hoping to shop with Ocado when their joint venture goes live in September may not be able to, M&S chair Archie Norman has cautioned.

Demand for online shopping rocketed during the coronavirus lockdown, and Ocado’s business model means that it is unlikely to be able to handle any spike in demand from new M&S customers wanting to shop with the online supermarket.

Norman said: “Ocado during the crisis has been in huge demand. There’s been any number of Ocado customers increasing their orders and additional people trying to get onto the Ocado delivery circuit.

“As a result – they distribute out of these big robotic warehouses – they’re operating at capacity, so we can’t say how much scope there will be for new M&S customers. It’s likely to be very limited.”