Marks and Spencer Strategy Evaluation

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MARKS AND SPENCER

(a) MARKS AND SPENCER’s SUCCESS

This question is answered in relation to the success achieved before the downturn in performance in the late 1990’s.

• The strategic intent was to have a simple pricing policy and the use of the ST MICHAEL LOGO as a sign of quality.
• Had structured formula for all its stores whereby a set of principles were held as core to the organisation
• The value chain was well managed suppliers been local and control could be exercised over suppliers and the manner in which the supply to the customers was dealt with in a uniformed manner throughout.
• The company was well funded through public listing and held value for shareholders.
• The business was in a cash cow phase with business
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• Competitors were concentrating on CRM whereas M&S where totally neglecting this fact and were not reacting in terms of programmes such as loyalty programmes.
• Food and clothing was marketed under one brand whereas they are tow completely different products and should be treated as such. The negaitive spin off of this type of marketing is that if one brand performs badly it immediately affects the brand of the other product.
• There was a single strategy for both food and clothing whereas they should be strategised differently and individually. With the common brand the consumer can become confused and relate the marketing of the brand to both products where the intention was for the one product range.
• The company diversified into areas such as mail order and e-commerce, areas that they were not familiar with and which ended up failing and costing the company.
• At the end of the day they did not pay enough attention to their products such as clothing which they ended up putting outdated clothing lines on their racks and the general images of their stores, even their main store in London was found to be “tacky” by consumers, not good for a company that is trying to market a quality brand to consumers.

(d) EVALUATION OF CHANGE INITIATIVES

• The first move was to become more customer focused, which was a step in the right direction, but initially not enough was done to determine the exact needs of their target market.
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