Marks & Spencer: the Phoenix Rises Case Questions

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  • Topic: Brand, Brooks Brothers, Children Act 1989
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Journal #8 Strategy formulation and implementation

What were the three most vital strengths of the company Vandevelde inherited? What were the three most critical weaknesses? A few of the vital strengths of M&S were its value proposition. It consisted of high quality along at good pricing of products for sale. Another strength M&S had was its brand recognition. Everyone in the UK knew and had some of affiliation with M&S. Along with that M&S had a strong reputation. People in the UK love them. M&S looked after its employees which could also be a strength. With that being said, it had a committed workforce and with its size M&S was a powerful buyer. One of M&S’s weaknesses was that it started competing an Asian clothing market and couldn’t keep up speed wise. This seemed to be an issue with M&S in other areas as well. The site selection of M&S stores was also an issue. This is because the store locations were in an inconvenient location and there were issues with parking. Acquisition choices for M&S were another issue it had. For example, it bought the rights of Brooks Brothers but did not have a need for this company and it also paid too much for it. Lastly, another issue M&S had was the so called “Buying British”. This damaged M&S’s volume-based cost advantages along with the fact that it refused to buy offshore merchandise and material. This forced to take cuts in quality and detail.

What were the key steps Vandevelde took to deal with the situation? Vandevelde started off by rebuilding his leadership team. He wanted to establish stability within the workplace. Vandevelde began recruiting his new team with certain qualities. This included people whom had previous experience with retail and wanted diversity with a younger crowd with fresh ideas. Vandevelde reinvigorated the clothing line by going back to the basics, new segmentation of brand, and new hip fresh clothing line to market towards the younger generation of males and females.
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