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Case Study of Marks and Spencer Essay


Marks and Spencer is one amongst the main retailers in kingdom managing over 600 stores and handling many workers. At present, the corporate is that the leading supplier of women’s wear and nightclothes within the UK. Within the space of different attire, these have incurred a substantial quantity of growth. The corporate additionally provides for food retail. This report has been based on strategic planning of Marks and Spencer.


1.1. Explain the importance of external factor affecting an organization to begin your report describe how you should use SWOT and STEEP analysis to explain the current context of an organization in your chosen case study.

SWOT Analysis:

SWOT analysis is that the analysis that helps organization to search out the position of their whole and also the image of product within the current market they’re in operation this analysis helps to search out the subsequent points of the organization within the market (Henry, 2008):


If we tend to do a similar analysis in Marks and Spencer than following would be the results of the analysis in keeping with the on top of strategic examples:


Below are the opportunities for Marks and Spencer on which it can capitalize its strengths: Enter in new market with the prevailing product however with glorious worth. Marks and Spencer can enter in emerging markets such as India and China to avail the opportunities of growth in these markets. Become a preferred fashion supplier with inexperienced thinking till 2012. Fashion industry has potential of growth in future. Marks and Spencer can avail this opportunity by expanding its store networks.


Below are the threats available to M&S:

Change in fashion merchandise and clothes by competitors frequently can impact the market share of Marks and Spencer. Change in polices of government in terms of financial policies that might impact the borrowing power of M&S. Increasing competition in the market has forced the company to be competitive in cost. Because of intense market competition, Marks and Spencer can face decrease in its market share. Because of increase in inflation, buying power of customers is decreasing. This can impact the market share of company at large scale.

Political Analysis

The government of kingdom encourages commerce in its territory. This can be primarily seen within the varied corporations that originate from completely different components of kingdom. It’s sometimes standard that any variety of trade is authorized within the aforementioned region on condition that it’s not contrary to public policy, public order, or any existing laws applicable in kingdom. This can be inspired with the membership of kingdom in commerce blocs just like the Common Market and international trade organizations like the globe Trade Organization (Daft, 2010).

Economic Analysis

The UK is among the centres of commerce in Europe as an entire. Shoppers aren’t restricted to the native voters as a considerable amount of travellers congregate on the streets of its urban areas on a continual basis. This can be correspondingly correct within the context of the retail business, specifically within the neck of the woods of classy articles like fashion and attire (Collier, 2004). The client base has the propensity to involve many sorts of wear betting on the prevailing variety of weather of the realm.

Technological Analysis

A lot of people in United Kingdom are capable of accessing within the net. This intimates that variety of the businesses square measure able to maximize of their operations and broaden by using e-commerce initiatives. This is often primarily seen in foremost retail organizations like Tesco. Hence, on-line promoting and buys created within the course of cyberspace is popping intent on be one amongst the competitive blessings no inheritable by the leading retail organizations in UK. 1.2. Describe how the need and expectation of stake holder here influenced the strategic decision of the business selected in the case study Stakeholders have different expectations from the organizations. Future strategic plans of the company can impact the expectations of its stakeholders and vice versa. Following are the expectations of stakeholders of Marks and Spencer regarding strategic decisions of business: Shareholders: They are the individuals who have invested in the company.

The shareholders of Marks and Spencer expect high return on investment from the strategic decisions taken by management. Employees: The employees of Marks and Spencer expect job security and high salaries. In addition to this, the employees of Marks and Spencer also expect assurance of a developing working environment through strategic decisions. Customers: They are very important stakeholder of Marks and Spencer. They demand that strategic decisions of company offer hem quality product and services at their convenience while maintaining price at affordable range. Community: The community is also an important stakeholder of Marks and Spencer. It demands that the Marks and Spencer must contribute towards it through its strategic decisions in terms of sustainable practices. 1.3. Explain the changes in the external environment in the case study example that have happened so far. The STEEP analysis of Marks and Spencer is effective to analyse the external environment of the company.

The STEEP analysis of Marks and Spencer is as follows: Political Factors: Within the case of Marks and Spencer, one amongst the additional worrying political elementary parts that they need to modify is that the issue of labour regime and preservation of commercial relationship. Years ago, the event makes an attempt sought-after by the organization are restricted by many encroachments of worker rights that primarily are against labour laws not solely within their operations in the domestic level however additionally in their international endeavours (Marr, 2006). This can be significantly correct in their French operations whereas the organization was charged of grave abuse and breaking of celebrated labour laws. Economic Factors: Increasing inflation has impacted the market share of the company.

The analysis of economic factors has shown that the buying power of customers is decreasing because of increasing inflation. In addition to this, increasing competition and slow growth of the industry has impacted the market share of company. In the last 25 years, market share of Marks and Spencer has declined from 14.8% to 10.8% (Zoe, 2012) Social Factors: In the framework of social and cultural aspects of the setting, the regular United Kingdom has the tendency to be extremely loyal to a selected whole. The quality of quality of the merchandise is imperative in each deal however may effortlessly be defeated by a fairly competitive valuation strategy from an opposing whole. Current observations equally indicate that predilection on trendy designs over the classics looks to indicate among the United Kingdom shoppers. Technological Factors: Increasing technological advancement in the industry has impacted the efficiency of the processes. Decrease in cost can be achieved through effective use of technology. The industry analysis shows that Marks and Spencer has not been efficient to respond to technological advancements.


2.1. Explain the effects of its current business plans on your organization.

The Vision and Mission of Marks and Spencer

The company seeks to grow into a world category distributor. Marks and Spencer intends to attain this by specializing in 5 key growth areas: A. the corporate seeks to still invest in and grow its core retail business by introducing new merchandise and services B. the corporate seeks to strengthen its property portfolio. C. the corporate seeks to boost on its M&S Direct business

D. the corporate seeks to expand on their international business E. the corporate seeks to integrate “green” operations in doing business by incorporating their “Plan A.” The current business portfolio of Marks and Spencer can be accessed through BCG Matrix. BCG Matrix suggests that it is good in terms of clothing and has position of stars on the BCG matrix. However, in food market, the position of Marks and Spencer is at question mark. This is because market share of Marks and Spencer in food market is very low. The industry growth in fashion market of United Kingdom is also show which suggests that the position of Marks and Spencer is moving towards dogs. With substantial inflow of capital and differentiation of products and services, Marks and Spencer can take position of stars on BCG Matrix. 2.2. Review the organization present position on the market place, and consider especially its customer base, and more generally its rivals.

Marks and Spencer have robust weapon in trade: very robust name. This implies that their whole is related to factors like category and quality. Another department that the corporate hold is seen in its prosperous history in mercantilism. At some stage in the years of its functions, it’s obtained an honest range of amenities that function moneymaking institutions for Marks and Spencer. Alongside this history is that the continuation of established partners and alliances that has been obtained by means that of over a century of business. Among the most flaws of the corporate square measure 1st and foremost perceptible in its management. Specially, a match involving the arrangement of the corporate, the character of its trade, and therefore the authentic management approaches has nonetheless to be established. Moreover, being a performing artist within the competitive business of retail, an organization should own active promoting talents (Michael, 2009).

However, it seems that Marks and Spencer has been insulation in terms of selling enhancements like loyalty cards and operation of customer-focused functions. The market share of Marks and Spencer has been declining in the market of United Kingdom. In the past year i.e.2011, the market share of Marks and Spencer has decreased from 10.9% to 10.4% because of intense competition and shortage of purchases (Zoe, 2012). In 1989, the market share of Marks and Spencer was 14.8% in the United Kingdom which has decreased in the 25 years because of increasing competition in the market (Zoe, 2012).

The strategic plans of Marks and Spencer have played important role in this regard. The strategic plans of the competitors have worked effectively and increased their market share. For instance, the market share of Next (competitor of Marks and Spencer) has risen from 1.5% to 7.5% in the same period (Zoe, 2012). Therefore, the biggest reason behind decline in market share of Marks and Spencer is its strategic plans (Zoe, 2012). 2.3. Evaluate the competitive strength and weakness of your organization current business strategies.


Reputation: Marks and Spencer is the famous brand in the United Kingdom. Strong image of brand is the major strength of the company that attracts customers. Online Shopping: Marks and Spencer allows customers to purchase through internet. Online shopping allows convenience to customers and contributes in strong position of the company.


Slow to change: Marks and Spencer is slow in its response towards changes in customer trends and preferences. The competitors of Marks and Spencer can take advantage of this weakness of the company by responding quickly to market changes. Lack of newness: the products and services of Marks and Spencer are not innovative and creative. Competitive worth: Low creativity, innovativeness and response to changes in environment have reduced the competitive worth of Marks and Spencer. Shortage of Suppliers: Marks and Spencer does not have wide choices of suppliers. In this way, the company is weak in its buying power.

Task 3:

3.1. Suggest strategic option for M&S

The strategic options for Marks and Spencer can be determined through effective analysis of industry and competitor moves. The ANSOFF Matrix can be effective tool for suggesting strategic options for Marks and Spencer. The ANSOFF Matrix for Marks and Spencer is as follows: Market penetration: This is the strategy through which existing products are pushed in the existing market. Market Development: This is the strategy through which new markets are searched for the existing products of the company. Product Development: This is the strategy through which new products are developed for the existing markets of the company Diversification: This is the strategy through which new products can be developed for new markets of Marks and Spencer. Marks and Spencer can implement this strategy by adding differentiation factor in its products and pushing new products in new markets.

The above strategies are effective for the Marks and Spencer to increase its market share in the United Kingdom. The company has strong capabilities which can be incorporated in the strategic plans of the company in an effective way to achieve its aims and objectives. 3.2. Describe the activity of business rivals which compete with your organizations and assess the impact of such an activity on it. The competitors of M&S are identified as departmental stores, small local retailers and supermarkets. In more specific form, the competitors of M&S are Debenhams, House of Fraser and BHS. Moreover, Tesco and Sainsbury have also been giving competition to it to some extent. The competitors of M&S are using model of shop within a shop. They have been focussing on the expansion of their businesses across United Kingdom. Tesco has adopted a policy of offering huge price cuts to customers for increasing its sales volume.

In 2012, it has showered customers with price cut offers. These extensive discounts offered by Tesco (Wallop, 2012) may impact the business of M&S because customers tend to buy the products that are priced low. In this way a substantial customer population of M&S may shift towards Tesco. This may result in decrease in market share of M&S. 3.3. Returning to your suggestions (3.1) for strategic option, how would you develop them further in light of this competition? In relation to the competition, expansion strategy can be very effective for Marks and Spencer. As competitors are expanding business across the geographical boundaries in order to increase their market shares, Marks and Spencer can also excel in the market by adoption investment strategies. In real terms, this can be done by saving cost through cost leadership strategy. By adopting cost leadership strategy, Marks and Spencer can save cost and invest it for expanding its operations.

Cost Leadership Strategy

Cost leadership strategy may be a strategy during which company offers low price with prime quality to the shoppers. Company will sale its product at average costs of trade so as to realize high profits. The second chance is that company sells its product at lower costs than the trade costs. The concept behind this idea is to draw in higher market share. By getting price advantage firms will get competitive advantage within the market. Price leadership strategy will be adopted by raising the processes of business so inefficiencies will be aloof from the business (Pearson, 2009).

Differentiation Strategy

Differentiation may be a strategy that enables firms to supply distinctive merchandise or services that have price to the shoppers. The distinctiveness in merchandise or services should not be offered by the competitors. All the promoting methods aim to induce differentiation. Differentiation is that the prime supply of competitive advantage for firms (Porter, 1980). The differentiation strategy permits firms to draw in customers at higher costs. Differentiation strategy permits firms to charge high costs to the shoppers so as to supply distinctive merchandise and services to them. Promoting methods are designed so as to draw in customers and to supply individuality to the shoppers.

Focus group strategy

This dimension is not a separate strategy in and of it, but describes the scope over that the company need to contend supported worth leadership or differentiation. The firm can worth additional extremely to contend at intervals the mass market (like Wal-Mart) with a broad scope, or in focused market section with a slim scope. In either case, the concept of competition will still be either cost leadership or differentiation (Michael, 2005).

Market Development

This strategy involves investment in different markets and innovation. It is only the difficult times when businesses get a chance to alter and revise their current strategies and implement new ones. Apart from this, most companies may lack proper resources to implement a proper business strategy or they might just make temporary changes in their market structure and less attention to product innovation. This reduces the chances of an investment strategy to be successful.


4.1. Now shape these suggestions into a coherent business plan, and indicate how the structure of the plan needs to be developed with participation of relevant stakeholder. Suppliers Suppliers are called key stake holder of any organization. Particularly in Marks and Spencer they need an excellent influence and that they hold the talk’s power that’s why any new strategic policy might have an effect on them, thus once M&S have new strategy or changes within the organization they need to recognize and discuss its connected contents with their suppliers (Smit, 2003). The suppliers of the company can be involved in the strategic plans by developing partnerships with them so that consistent supply of quality materials can be ensured with cost effective buying.


Customer are key stake holder of any organization as a result of they hold the money within the stores of any company and have the facility to spend it wherever ever they require, that the policies of the corporate ought to be kind within the means that defend the interest of consumers (Burns, 2009). The new strategic plans of the company must involve customers through effective marketing strategies.


In any organization particularly if we tend to took an example of M&S they need managers with the expertise of six to seven years and that they are perpetually operating in a very same setting with loyalty and progressing with the nice name, thus it’s important to require additional care of workers whereas doing strategic planning for organization. The higher than division of stake holders with their level of interest and power shows the result they may create within the strategic planning. 4.2. Describe appropriate criteria for reviewing potential options for the proposed strategic plan. The criteria selected for the evaluation and monitoring of proposed plan is as follows: Suitability: This factors refers that whether the overall project is worthwhile and rational or not. The proposed plan for Marks and Spencer will be evaluated that whether the strategy addresses the mission of the company or not. Moreover, this factor also assesses the effectiveness of the proposed plan of the Marks and Spencer from economic point of view. SWOT analysis of the company is conducted to address this factor.

Feasibility: This factor refers to the idea that whether the company has enough economic resources for achieving the aims of proposed plan. The resources included in this regard are market access, people capital and expertise. Through cash flow, forecasting, resource deployment analysis and break even analysis will be used for evaluating the worthiness of the proposed plan. Acceptability: This refers to the idea that stakeholders of the company have agreed with the strategic aims of the proposed plan. The financial and nonfinancial outcomes of the proposed plan of Marks and Spencer are accessed through this factor. The employees would have concern about the nonfinancial outcomes of the proposed plan such as about working conditions.

4.3. Describe how the plan includes an assessment of the resources required to implement the plan. The strategic plan of any organization needs to be reviewed on regular basis so that its results can be measured against set objectives. In order to implement the strategic plan, resources are required (Marr, 2006). Marks and Spencer needs to assess its following resources for effective implementation of strategies plan: Financial resources: Marks and Spencer has strong financial resources in the form of capital and store networks. It is a listed company having plenty of funds available for expanding its operations and improving current business practices. Human resources: In more than 300 stores of Marks and Spencer, huge workforce is present which is qualified and efficient and has potential for achieving financial returns for the company.


5.1. Compare the core values of the organizational against its current business objectives. The core values of M&S include quality, innovation, customer values and commitment. In addition, M&S believes that it is a trusted retailer and has a strong heritage of highly qualified and efficient employees. Moreover, engagement and involvement of employees in the business objectives is also preferred by the M&S. The objectives of the M&S include providing quality products with high innovation. Moreover, the organization also has aim to provide customer each time a new product. In this regard, the core values i.e. innovation and quality provision are highly related with the organizational values. In order to produce innovation in the product, the employees are encouraged and involved in the organizational processes and designs. In this way, it is said that the organizational values and objectives of M&S are aligned with each other.

5.2. Develop these values into a vision of the organization and suggest a mission statement that expresses these values. The core values of Marks and Spencer are stated in following vision: “To be the best brand against which all other competitors are measured” The mission statement of the Marks and Spencer is as follow: “To provide quality products to customers while increasing market share” 5.3. Describe how this vision can combine with the business objectives of the strategic plan, so that an inspiring vision of the future of the business can involve all relevant stakeholders. The vision of the organization is to provide the best brand to customers in comparison with the competitor’s products and brands. On the other hand, the organizational objectives include providing high quality innovative products and services to customers.

The inspiring vision of providing high quality and innovative products has been effectively distributed and transformed into organizational objectives. The employees at the lower end are aware of the organization vision because they are given appropriate environment to produce innovations and creativity in the products. In the strategic plan, the organizational objectives and vision is combined to produce high quality and innovative products. In future, the strategic plan will provide highly effective because it has involved the all relevant stakeholders of the organization.

The employees are involved in the strategic plan to produce creativity and innovation in the products. The customers are involved in a sense that they are provided high quality and new product products. Through innovation and quality in products, the sales and market share of the company may increase. This may result in high profitability of the organization which will ultimately contribute positively to the shareholders of the M&S. 5.4. Develop measure for evaluating your strategic plan.

In order to evaluate the strategic plan, following measures are developed: Ongoing monitoring: The objectives of the strategic plans are continuously monitored on the basis of the objectives. The ongoing and completed objectives will be monitored that whether the strategic plan is implanted effectively or not. For the ongoing objectives, suggestions or appropriate actions will be taken to lead the overall strategic plan to appropriate accomplishment. The achievements of the plan objectives will be measured on regular basis. Qualitative and quantitative measures will be adopted for evaluating the strategic plan.


6.1. Develop a schedule for implementing a strategy plan in an organization. Formulating a timetable permits the corporate to possess a close map of the strategy. Within the case of Marks and Spencer, the creation of a timetable permits them to understand the vision of the corporate by specifically pinpointing actions required to for its implementation. A timetable permits the corporate to possess a transparent cut and elaborate define of the events. This is often additionally an honest tool to live whether or not or not the corporate is moving forward or not. The schedule for the implementation of plan is as follows: First Year: The research and development activities will be effectively developed to introduce the innovation and creativity in the organization.

The customer traffic will be improved through offering innovative and quality products. Second Year: The market share will be improved through offering long term benefits to customers. The customer loyalty cards will be used for building customer loyalty for the organization. Third Year: Finally, in the third year the company will tend to expand its market to areas where it has not shown its presence. New stores will be opened by the organization. 6.2. Describe system of information dissemination most likely to inspire stakeholder’s commitment to the plan. Communication regarding strategic plans can be of two types (John, 2010):

Proactive communication

Reactive communication

In this particular case, proactive communication mechanism needs to be implemented. Before implementing plan, all stakeholders must be communicated for getting their suggestions regarding strategic plan. This will not only build trust among stakeholders but also enhances chances of effective implementation of strategic plan. Through continuous reporting and meetings, shareholders will be informed about the strategic plans of the company. The shareholders of the company will be involved as active part of the company so that they can get satisfaction regarding policies of management. The suppliers and customers will also be kept informed through reporting. The customers will be informed about the new offers of company through advertisements and marketing tactics.

In this way, Marks and Spencer will be using both types of communication strategies in Marks and Spencer. Before the implementation of plans, the shareholders and employees will be taken into confidence. On the other hand, after significant achievements, they will be informed through reactive communication strategy. 6.3. Describe system that will continually monitor and evaluate how your strategic plan is implemented, one that anticipates future opportunities as well potential problem.

The system for evaluation and monitoring of the strategic plan must include wide range of data. The company needs to collect data from several resources regarding the progress of the plan. After data collection, results must be measured against SMART objectives designed for the plan. In order to counter with potential problems, Marks and Spencer needs to implement a culture of innovation. Management by Objective tool will be used by Marks and Spencer for the monitoring of proposed strategic plan. Management by Objective is the way through which objectives will be defined by the management and employees of Marks and Spencer in accordance with the strategic objectives of the organization (Daft, 2010). Employees will be given clear understanding of the aims and objectives of the company.

Through following way, this plan will be implemented in the company: Setting Objectives: In the first step, objectives are set by engaging supervisors and employees in a coordinated way Developing plans: In the next step, plans are developed for the achievement of strategic objectives of Marks and Spencer. Periodic Reviews: On periodic basis, evaluation will be made regarding achievement of strategic objectives. The performance of all objectives will be assessed through effective implementation of plans. Performance Appraisal: Lastly, the performance of employees will be appraised against the set objectives. This step will be effective for granting rewards and promotions to employees. Effective appraisal system will help the management of Marks and Spencer to motivate its employees in an effective way.

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2006. Strategic Performance Management: Leveraging and Measuring your Intangible Value Drivers. Elsevier Burns, B. 2009. Managing Change. 5th Edition, Prentice Hall

Marr, B. 2006. Strategic Performance Management: Leveraging and Measuring your Intangible Value Drivers. Elsevier Pearson, G. 1999, Strategy in Action, Prentice Hall Financial Times. Zoe, 2012. M&S loses further ground in battle for vital womenswear market, The Guardian. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/08/marksspencer-retail Daft, 2010. Management International. Illustrated. Cengage Learning EMEA John, 2010. Management. Ed. 11th . John Wiley & Sons

Wallop. (2012). Tesco sales improve as discounts draw in shoppers. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9121175/Tesco-sales-improve-as-discounts-draw-in-shoppers.html Retrieved on: 20th May, 2013

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