M&S - the Changes Made from 1998 to 2001 Fail to Overcome the Problems

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In October 1998, M&S’s began to face problems which they tried to overcome byadopting different strategies. However, their efforts proved to be unsuccessful and there areseveral factors attributed to that failure.Their products were old-fashioned and remained unchanged for many years. M&S’scompetitors sold products that were more design-focused and up-to-date. Small companies alsooffered similar clothes as M&S stores but at lower prices. Even though M&S was a very wellknown company, they no longer understood or reacted to its customers’ changing wants andneeds. Therefore, they did not understand their target market, who might want different varietiesof products. They expanded their business but continued with its traditional design and ignoredthe changes in the market place.To overcome their problems they focused on the day-to-day operations of the firm.However, plans were not worked out on a long-term basis. There was internal managementresponsible for this. The company mostly made women’s wear, but top levels were dominated bymale executives, so they did not realize the women’s preferences and design choices. Therefore,they did not implement the right strategy for the market. The company also always promotedtheir CEO or Chairman from within the company and thus they did not have any fresh outlooksor suggestions for the business. The decisions that were made did not fulfill their expectations.All of these are some reasons behind the fail to overcome the problems during 1998 to 2001.Early in 2000, they make the decision to appoint Luc Vandevelde as new Chairman of M&S. Since this was the first time anyone from outside the company had been appointed to the positionof Chairman, it saw the beginning of new era for M&S.
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