Swot Analysis of Marks and Spencer During 1995-1999

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Case Study on Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer became a household name, first in its country of origin, the UK, and later internationally. However, the late 1990’s saw a reversal of fortune for this company. In this case study, we look at the relevant issues surrounding this decline and the initiative to turn this problem around. The topics that will be discussed include the business environment, resource and competence analysis, strategic leadership, culture, strategic options, managing change, and the future of Marks and Spencer.
Business Environment
The environment encapsulates many different influences. The difficulty is to make sense of this diversity. Identifying very many environmental influences may be possible,
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“classic, wearable fashions”. Hence people decided to shop for clothing in trendier places. As a result we see that they employed George Davies (founder of Next) and other haute couture fashion designers to design clothing exclusively for Marks and Spencer.
In terms of the market environment, Marks and Spencer did not keep …“pace with the tremendous changes taking place in the retail market. While our competitors strengthened, we were busy developing new stores. So when markets tightened in the second half of the year, we were hit by falling sales, loss of market share and declining profitability.” (Peter Salsbury, Marks and Spencer Annual Review, 1999)
This quote, by the then CEO of Marks & Spencer, sums up the lack of focus, direction and foresight that existed at senior management level in terms of the environment.
A factor that haunted Marks and Spencer was their inability to keep up with technology. Simple schemes like buying cards for customers were not in place. This coupled with the close on to extinction EDI system that controlled communication between Marks and Spencer and their suppliers made sure they stayed at the back of the pack. However, in 1999, Marks and Spencer announced the integration of a new information system called BizTalk. There were three reasons for using BizTalk. Firstly and most importantly, the principles behind the

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