Marks & Spencer Essay
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Assignment 1 : Marks & Spencer Essay This assignment will examine how Marks & Spencer's strategies have changed in the past 10 years, from 1998 to 2008. These strategies include management strategy, corporate social responsibility, advertising strategy, competitive strategy, and green strategy. However, the most important strategy must be the recovery plan of these ten years. Marks & Spencer is the largest clothing retailer in the UK. It is also an international retailer which operates around 760 stores in more than 20 countries around the world. The company provided quality products with affordable prices and they offer a board range of products, such as womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, babywear, and homewares. [Mintel, Retail Review - March, 2008] In 1998, the company was hit by falling sales and loss of market share. They suffered 23% decrease in profits, and by 2001 Marks and Spencer was no longer even in the Financial Times list of the top 500 global companies. It was even in danger of being taken over by another company. The reasons of decreasing sales include the failure of the changing needs of its core consumers, boring design and styling and fashionable competitors, such as Gap and Zara.
For instance, Marks & Spencer had a great idea of hiring a famous football player, David Beckhamd and granting him his own clothing range. Their marketing focus is on their clothing range which is probably the right idea due to competitors such as Sainsbury's were introducing their own clothing range. The company had incorporated their own style and image which their competitors could not comprehend to. Therefore, it was a big step in the right direction for the company. [Marks & Spencer annual report 1999] The recovery plan on 2000/01 was focusing on UK retail business, cutting down cost and businesses and improving capital structure. The strategy of focusing on the UK retail business which included expanding the growing businesses, such as food, home and beauty, but also concentrating on clothing business, accelerate of store renewal programme for more intensive use of space, and getting closer to the consumer, in terms of better marketing communication. The cutting down unprofitable strategy were involved selling the business in Hong Kong to become a franchise, closing down some unprofitable overseas business and the unprofitable clothes catalogue and reducing cost of goods that by using foreign supplier in Asia, which enabled to reduce sales price and to raise profit.
acknowledged numerous issues for their recovery strategy, which mainly on their clothing range with pricing quality, fit, segmentation, product appeal and availability. Then, the company was aiming to offer something for everyone with better price, better quality of products and deliver quicker. For example, the Zip, Blue Harbour and Classics range of clothing, they have a big range of clothing lines to offer new and current customers. Marks & Spencer is doing well at the moment and officially has been recovered already. The sales of these two years have been increased. However, the market and consumer behaviour is always changing rapidly. The company should not be too proud of their sales profits. It is recommended for Marks & Spencer continues to concentrate on their marketing communication to build up a long term relationship with their customers and to regain more competitive advantages such as online or telephone delivery for food in the future. Moreover, hopefully more creative designs with a cultural based can be seen in Marks & Spencer soon which to match their demanding consumers. Finally, the green strategy would help Marks & Spencer into another stage by not just offering us better products, but also improving a better world.
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