A review of the international operations of Marks and Spencer indicates the following: Marks & Spencer is operating in a challenging environment that has become increasingly competitive with the lower consumer demand and yet further expansion of players to capture market share Marks & Spencer is well-positioned globally and has performed well despite the challenges of the current environment There are several recommendations that Marks & Spencer needs to pursue in order to continue being successful in their international operations: (1) hire local employees in their international operations, (2) introduce rotation of key managers globally, and (3) incorporate local customisation of products and services in overseas markets.
Marks & Spencer is operating in a challenging environment that has become increasingly competitive with the lower consumer demand and yet further expansion of players to capture market share. The market has become more competitive as players have pursued initiatives to maintain the share of their market with consumers who have increasingly moved to lower-priced offerings or higher quality products. Some competitors have invested to expand their presence in order to take advantage of the crisis in the markets, as a number of other competitors have been unable to manage through the downturn.
Marks & Spencer is well positioned globally and has performed well despite the challenges of the current environment. The environmental and internal assessment indicates the position of Marks & Spencer while the financial comparisons versus competitors globally show evidence of the success experienced by Marks & Spencer in the current environment. The financials indicated the strong outperformance of Marks & Spencer versus competitors across a number of different measures.
There are several recommendations that Marks & Spencer needs to pursue in order to continue being successful in their international operations. The first recommendation is to hire local employees in their international operations. While Marks & Spencer already hires local employees in their international operations, there is scope to expand this further and ensure that only essential roles related to control and governance aspects remain as ‘expat’ roles in their overseas businesses. This will lower costs and help marks & Spencer manage even better through the challenging environment.
The second recommendation is to the introduce rotation of key managers globally. This will result in several benefits to the organisation: (1) allow the local managers to learn about the culture of Marks & Spencer and also about the best practices utilised in other international businesses of Marks & Spencer, (2) build loyalty among the key managers and expand their experience and skills set with the overseas stint, and (3) give the key managers the opportunity to implement their own best practices to the other parts of the Marks & Spencer businesses.
The third recommendation is to incorporate local customisation of products and services in overseas markets. This recommendation is given to allow Marks & Spencer to achieve several objectives: (1) rely on Marks & Spencer brand name but offer products tailored to the local market, (2) manage costs and their supply chain more effectively with the increased local sourcing of products, and (3) establish stronger brand loyalty among the local consumers with the tailored offerings.
For the specific market entry, the recommendation is to focus on the Chinese market and pursue the following actions to build the franchise in one of the largest retail markets outside the United Kingdom: Leverage the current mainland China flagship store in Shanghai to build brand awareness Hire a local manager to lead the expansion in mainland China Customise the offering
These three actions for the Chinese market will ensure that Marks & Spencer approaches the market by leveraging its...