Marks and Spencer Strategies

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A Case Study on Marks and Spencer

by stoked, Jul 24, 2008
A case study on Marks and Spencer which includes: The company at present, Background of the Study, Case Background, Problem, SWOT Analysis, Alternative Courses of Action, Recommendation, Conclusion. A Case Study on Marks and Spencer

The Company at Present

Marks and Spencer has over 450 stores located throughout the UK, this includes the largest store at Marble Arch, London.

In addition, the Company has 150 stores worldwide, including over 130 franchise businesses, operating in 30 countries. Background of the Company

* Marks and Spencer (M&S) of Britain (often referred to as Marks & Sparks by locals) is a general retailer that sells clothes, gifts, home furnishings, and foods under the St. Michael trademark in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Far East. * The company also operates financial services segment, which accounted for about 3% of the company's 1998 profits (Dow Jones Industrial 1999) * Marks & Spencer started as a stall in 1884 by Michael Marks in the Leads market using an L5 loan from a wholesaler * Its philosophy is to sell durable merchandise at a moderate price. It has merchandise made to its specifications. * By 1901, the company acquired 35 Outlets as well as a new partner, Tom Spencer * By 1949 all the company's stores carried mostly private label (St. Michael) products produced by British suppliers (De Nardi-Cole 1998).

Case Background

* Britain has often been called a country of shopkeepers, and Marks & Spencer (M&S) is undoubtedly the shop keeping leader * With nearly 300 stores in the United Kingdom, M&S is the country's largest retailer : it holds 17 percent of the UK clothing market * Its marble arch store in London is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the store that takes in more revenue per square foot than any other in the world * Soft goods (clothes and household textiles) account for about 58 percent of the company's sales and food lines account for about 42 percent * The goods are perceived as having excellent value, quality, so there is a little need to discount prices for sales * Because M & S is so well known, it spends little on advertising, decorates its stores austerely, offers very little personal service and provides no dressing rooms or public bathrooms * M & S has been successful in appealing to the nationalism of its British clientele by promoting heavily the fact that nearly all the clothing it sells originates in the United Kingdom * But the company admits that the percentage has slipped to about four-fifths and will likely fall further as its British suppliers move more of their production abroad * Being so already dominant, M&S would have to add new products or appeal to new market segments to maintain its growth rate * Its attempt to move into higher-priced clothing into a more fashion-conscious market has not been very successful


How would Marks and Spencer become successful in the international arena? Statement of Objective

* Being so dominant in the United Kingdom, M&S would appeal to new market segments * To be successful not only in the United Kingdom but also overseas

SWOT Analysis


* M&S were renowned for their attention to detail in terms of supplier control, merchandise and store layout * The success of M&S under Simon Marks was often attributed his understanding of customer preferences and trends * Provide highest standards of quality

* Suppliers use the most modern and efficient production techniques


* Stocked generic clothing range with wide appeal to the public: buyers often had to make choices, which would outlast the fashion and trends seen in other high street retailers * This lagging behind in case of introducing up-to-dated fashionable clothing to keep pace with the environment actually made them vulnerable to their competitors *...
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