INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRM AND ITS INDUSTRY
Marks and Spencer is one of the largest retailers in the United Kingdom, and is also known as a major retailer selling diverse product ranges under their own exclusive brand in more than thirty countries. Customer confidence in the Marks and Spencer brand remains second to none. According to recent research undertaken by the Company, it shows that, in clothing, Mark and Spencer has a clear lead over all its major competitors in the key areas of fit, quality, trust, breadth of range and customer service.
In November of 2000, Marks and Spencer will launch a trial of three new lingerie-only outlets in Paris, Hamburg and Dusseldorf. According to industry statistics, Marks & Spencer remains the clear leader in the UK lingerie market, with over thirty percent of the market share. These pilot stores, distinctly branded 'msl ', are designed to showcase the product range, taking the very best of Marks & Spencer lingerie to the Continent. Moreover, twenty-five percent of the 'msl ' range has been designed exclusively for the continental market (Marks & Spencer PG).
According to David Norgrove, Marks & Spencer Executive Director, the new stores developed by Marks and Spencer "clearly show how we can give customers what they want in the way they want it. Today we have both depth of product and a variety of retail formats, so that we can encompass factory outlet stores and designer clothing under the Marks & Spencer brand. Our new concept stores carry a wide range of products and services tailor-made for its local customers but, at the same time, we are also launching the European pilot of a specialist retail format which builds on our core strength in lingerie. All of these products and formats are being in response to customer research, to meet a proven need" (Marks & Spencer PG).
THE COMPETITIVE STRUCTURE OF THE INDUSTRY
The British retailer Marks & Spence decided to
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