International Business Expansion Strategy: MandS and Inditex

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4. Compare M&S’s approach to that of Inditex, Zara’s parent company

After both M&S and Inditex experienced early success, they headed for international expansion. With heightened competition at the international level both companies relied on their value chains to stay ahead of the game. M&S struggled in the 90’s, however worked their way out of the hole they had dug by emphasizing the importance of technology along with a concept Simon Marks brought over from the American chain stores model: the super store. Enabling their stores to carry not only high quality low priced apparel, but food, opened up many doorways to fulfilling consumer needs. The implementation of new technology solidified M&S’s ability to maintain their key principle of the “highest quality” good. It allowed them to stay in close communications with their suppliers, in addition to keeping the highest quality/price ratio they could. Their state of the art logistics allowed for the expansion of several multi user warehouses throughout the UK giving suppliers the ability to pull items into the warehouses from their specific manufacturers. Unlike M&S, Inditex focused on the principles of creativity, innovation, and fast market response to propel the business. They pinpointed a strategy of developing multiple different brands and retail formats to specifically target certain market segments. This allowed them to cater to the needs of each societal group to the best of their ability. Similar to how M&S prided themselves for their high quality, Inditex strove to be able to quickly adapt to fashion changes. With Zara, Inditex designers would scout out uprising fashion trends pre-season in the streets and discos and would begin to create fashion lines for release. However designs would all but stop at the release. Designers would continue creating 5-8 new designs every day in season. On average they produced 12,000 new products every year. Though each company focused on...
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