Marks & Spencer Domestic Market Details

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Executive Summary

This report gives a brief overview of 125 years of history of one of the most popular stores in the UK, M&S or as it is fondly known as - M&S. It covers the various periods in the rich history of M&S from 1884 till date.

In the later part of the report, the focus is on the clothing business of M&S, various brands available and the target market along with brand positioning of M&S within UK. The report also touches on the financial performance of M&S in the last 11 years. The report suggests that the customer profile of M&S is quite broad and is trying to cover people from all ages through the different brands of clothing, however, the typical customer is a loyal, educated, from middle class family, mostly female aged 30 and above, professionally secure and quite well off living in a nice suburb.

To conclude, M&S is making a vast effort to re-enter the clothing market as a strong contender and bring back the core customers – women and children. With the new advertising campaigns and product ranges in mid to premium price segments, the recovery looks on track though might take some for M&S to be the market leader as the competition is so fierce on UK high streets.


1.0 Introduction….4
1.1 Clothing Industry Overview in the UK4
1.2 History of M&S4
1.21 The Early Years (1884 to 1949)4
1.22 The Glory Years (1950 to 1972)5
1.23 The Down Turn (1973 to 2000)5
1.23 The Down Turn (1973 to 2000)5
1.24 The Fight Back (2001 and onwards)6
1.25 Financial Performance of M&S6

2.0 Products…… ….7

3.0 Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning …….7
3.1 Market Segmentation8
3.11 Behavioural Segmentation9
3.12 Psychographic Segmentation9
3.13 Profile Segmentation9
3.2 Targeting..10
3.3 Positioning11

4.0 Conclusion…… ….14


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Clothing Industry Overview in the UK

The UK retail clothing market was worth $43 billion in 2000, having grown by just 3.8% since 1999. This grew to $51 billion in 2007 with an increase of 19% from 2000.

Women's, girls' and children's clothing account for the major share of the market, making up 68.7% of the total value. The increase in working women might have been expected to cause an upsurge in demand for smart clothing, but a major feature of the market has been a trend towards dressing down.

Textile manufacturing is in serious decline and clothing retailers continue to find trading conditions difficult in the face of weak consumer demand and heavy discounting. M&S, Arcadia Group, BhS Ltd, and Moss Bros Group are among the stores struggling to maintain their position. Meanwhile, the Dutch multiple chain C&A has admitted defeat and has now completely withdrawn from the British market.

1.2 The History of M&S

1.21 The early years (1884 to 1949)

The company was founded by a partnership between Michael Marks, a Litvak Jew from Slonim, Poland (now in Belarus), and Thomas Spencer, a cashier from Yorkshire. On his arrival in England, Marks worked for a company in Leeds, called Barran, which employed refugees (Chislett, 2009). In 1884 he met Isaac Dewhurst, the owner of a Leeds warehouse, which resulted in him opening his own stall on Kirkgate Market, in Leeds (Chislett, 2009).

The next few years saw Michael Marks open market stalls in many locations around the North West of England. In 1894, Thomas Spencer invested in Marks' activities and they opened their first store, in partnership, at 20 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester (Chislett, 2009).

1.22 The glory years (1950 to 1972)

By 1950, virtually all goods were sold under the "St Michael" label. M&S lingerie, women's clothes and girls' school uniform were branded under the "St Margaret" label until the whole range of general merchandise became St Michael (Chislett, 2009). The company put its main emphasis on quality,...
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