M&S Case Study

2089 Words Nov 18th, 2012 9 Pages
s Case Study: Marks and Spencer
Where now for an icon of British retailing?

History and background

Early history
Marks and Spencer (M&S) was founded by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in 1884 - he called his business 'penny bazaars' with signs reading "Don't ask the price, it's a penny" (the forerunner of stores like Poundland today?) The company went public in the 1920's and by the 1970's M&S had established itself as a British institution with locations in every major town and with 99% of products branded as M&S goods.
By the late '80's the company had over 700 stores in the UK, 300 stores in over 40 countries and prided itself on offering high quality clothing, home decor products and premium quality food at
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Despite these innovations however, the company has experienced another decline in its share price and stagnating profits due to the financial crisis and increasing competition post 2008.

Current status

* 2011/12 sales £9.9 billion with operating profit of £658m * Marks and Spencer currently has 703 stores in the UK with a further 390 stores in 44 countries worldwide (planned space growth of 3% per year until 2015/16). Employs 78,000 people with 21m customers per week in the UK. * 5 year plan (established 2010) identified key objectives: * Focus on core UK business * Establishing M&S as high quality food retailer * Establishing M&S as leading multi channel retailer with sales of £800m-1billion by 2013/14 * Increasing international sales to £800m-1billion by 2013/14 * Investment in IT / logistics / supply chain

Product range

M&S products can be divided into 4 areas:
1) Clothing: women's, men's and children's wear,
2) Homeware: Home decor, children's toys, books and cosmetics
3) Food: prepared, fresh and ethic foods, meats, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
4) Financial services: store credit card, loans, unit trusts, insurance - business sold to and now run by HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank) Values

Marks and Spencer has been built on a number of core company values which have remained largely unchanged since its earliest beginnings:
Quality: Delivering excellent standards

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