Marks & Spencer: Competitive Advanteges and Future Stragegies

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Strategy Management
MARKS & SPENCER: COMPETITIVE ADVANTEGES AND FUTURE STRAGEGIES

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TABLE OF CONTECTS
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY…………………………………………………………..3 2. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………3 3. DISCUSSION, ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS……………………………………...3 4. CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………….6 5. BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………....8

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1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report will outline Marks and Spencer’s current capabilities by examining the group’s internal environment and competitive advantages. In other to do so, a SWOT analysis will be use. The study of the current situation will produce recommendations for future strategies.

2. INTRODUCTION
Marks and Spencer Group (M & S) is an iconic and leading retailer of food, home ware and clothing items in the UK and worldwide. The company has its main presence in UK where it operates over 700 stores. Abroad, it sells goods and services in more than 320 stores in over 40 countries. (Marksandspencer.com 2012) Many revolutionary changes have been implemented throughout the years with numerous changes in its leadership. All this has translated to numerous changes in its strategy even though the core principles of the company have almost stayed the same: offering good quality products at sensible prices. This paper will analyse the current internal environment and how M & S should plan its future strategy accordingly.

3. DICUSSION, ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
The internal and external environments of an organization are key to establish a business strategy. For the purpose of this assignment, only the internal part will be studied. There are many different ways to analysis the internal environment of a company but the following approach will be use: the SWOT analysis.

SWOT ANALYSIS
As Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2008) explain, this tool looks into the current conditions of the organization internally (Strengths and weaknesses) and externally (Opportunities and Threats) and how a company can use this information to develop a future strategy. Marks and Spencer’s core strengths and weaknesses and areas of development or decline are analysed and presented below.

Strengths
  Strong brand image and recognition. M& S has a very good reputation for high quality products and services (Cross, P, & Harvey-Nicholls, S 2011). Innovation: there is a department dedicated to identifying new business opportunities such as the financial services and a new food ranges. From introducing a new vegetable like white broccoli aimed to children (Jan, M 2012) and micro pears (Horticulture Week 2011) to new financial services (M&Money: credit cards, insurance, savings…etc.)  “Strong market position in the clothing segment” DATAMONITOR (2011). According to this report, M& S continues to be the number one clothing retailer in the UK.

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Fashionable shopping environment: ‘shops within shops’. According to British Baker (2012), “Marks and Spencer has confirmed it plans to roll out its new in-store bakery format to all stores by mid-2013”. These new bakeries will have something that no other supermarket has, an oven that makes bread from raw dough in store.

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Tactical store locations and outlet network (barriers to competitor entry) and strong property asset portfolio (DATAMONITOR, 2011). Corporate Social Responsibility/environmental leadership – an effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is a potential source of competitive advantage as consumer demand companies to be more ethical and environmentally friendly. Campaigns like M&S’s Plan A, not only helps the brand image as ‘the world’s most sustainable retailer’ but also it is a great motivator for all the (Willis, J. 2011). This plan launched in 2007, focused in five areas: climate change, fair partnership, health, sustainable raw material and waste (Grayson, 2011).



Solid community profile. M&S is involved in many community projects and partnerships. A good example is the collaboration with...
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