Marks and Spencer is a chain retailer opened in 1884. In 1915, the company started to build variety of stores and started to grow fast ever since. Apparently, the first years of the company had been very productive because of the large profit and revenue that the company was able to gain despite the inflationary stagnation in Britain’s economy. Basically, the mission of the business was social revolution rather tan retailing.
Marks and Spencer repositioned its business as the subversion of the class structure of the nineteenth century by making available to the working and lower classes high quality goods in prices that will be affordable for them. The company had been a variety store chain like many others, providing wide variety of products which had nothing in common except low price. After few years of offering wide variety of consumer goods, Marks and Spencer decided to focus on wearing apparel to which it soon added household textiles such as towels and draperies.
Within few years of another repositioning in the marketplace, Marks and Spencer had become the leading clothing and textile distributor in England, a position held ever since (Drucker, 2007). Later on, the company had decided to penetrate the global market which became the start of their journey in the emerging market. • British Home Stores Clothing and household items are the products that are being offered by British Home Stores or commonly known as Bhs. The company competes on value and quality which aims to target the less affluent demographic cluster of the society.
Bhs has almost 200 stores throughout the United Kingdom and now owned by Sir Philip Green, a British businessman. The company opened its first British Home Stores shop in 1928 at Brixton where the products are sold in a very low price. The following year, the company increased the prices of the products which enabled them to expand the product range. Soon after the release of other Bhs products, the company easily gained recognition from the market. The economic crisis and other financial conflicts made the company implement inconsistent pricing on the products that are being offered in the market.
In 1990, Philip Green took over to bring the company on its highest level of success in the emerging market. Bhs is a big department store geared toward young families on a budget. This is the place where all the types of clothes for children and adults can be seen and can be purchased in a low price (Gershman, et al. , 2004). Products • Marks and Spencer Apparently, Marks and Spencer is already recognized in the market for offering wide range of products in the marketplace. The company offers apparel products for women, men, and even children.
However, these three categories still have a lot of choices because the company provides products under different brand names. Marks and Spencer also ventures on selling wine and technology gadgets. The products of M&S are even divided to categories such as home care, clothes care, dish washing, and air care. The complete range of home care products includes items for cleaning bathroom, kitchen, and all areas of the customer’s home. On the other hand, the clothes care answers the needs of the customers for laundry powders, fabric conditioners, and starch sprays.
The fragrant experience is the unique selling proposition of M&S for the dishwashing liquid that they have been offering in the market (M&S, n. d. ). M&S has proven their ability to provide different kinds of goods in the market by continuously developing more items that is provided for each member of the family. • British Home Stores Bhs aims to deliver a great shopping experience to its customers through stylish fashion ranges and home wares in high quality at low and affordable prices.
Just like M&S, Bhs offers wide variety of products in the marketplace. From womenswear to childrenswear, from shoes to accessories, and from wedding items to jewelry, Bhs has a lot to offer to its wide market. However, aside from wide range of apparel to choose from, the company also offers home wares including furniture, curtains, home accessories, kitchen wares, dining wares and luggage (Bhs, n. d. ). The company features a certain item for each season or occasion to be able to capture the online and traditional shoppers.
With its wide variety of products on the Bhs shops, the company maintains the loyalty of its customers that have been relying on the capability of Bhs to provide quality products and services to the target market. Brand Image • Marks and Spencer In 2006, Marks and Spencer had unveiled its new ethical image with its ‘look behind the level’ campaign which aims to become the first major retailer in clothing industry. The company promotes their product in a way that the customers would think of it as necessary than luxury. The food products of the company are positioned as healthy and good for the body.
The campaign is part of a move to provide a more ethical way of shopping and backs up findings from online research company YouGov, which revealed how ethics and health issues are increasingly determining what products customers decide to buy. The campaign, comprising ads in the national press, contain headlines such as: “It’s not just our green dyes that won’t harm the environment”, “We’re committed to reducing salt faster than you can say ‘sodium chloride'”, “Our ready meals lack a certain something. Hydrogenated fats” and “After these sandwiches have disappeared, so will the packaging”. (Pearlman, 2006)
Apparently, the company focuses the campaign to its commitment of providing quality products and services as social responsibility. The company are portraying the product in pull strategy which the entire campaign targets the loyalty and trust of the people rather than the profit that can be gained in introducing every new product through intensive advertising. • British Home Stores Undeniably, the company name bears a strong and good brand image in the market. Bhs has become more than just a provider of low cost product but also the provider of high quality service that all customers search for a certain brand.
The company targets younger customers with updated stores, trendier fashions, and revitalized corporate image. British Home Stores has been using many corporate designs which aim to put new branding first to better performing stores and start the improvement from that process. The success of Bhs in the market has given them the reputation and credibility to be the market leader in retail store industry. In fact, the company continuously offering new products and setting new strategic ways to improve the business and outwit the competition. Promotion
• Marks and Spencer The year 2006 is one of the hardest times for Marks and Spencer. The company experiences a slow sales growth and even reported that the total high-street sales drop almost 2 per cent. Since then the company started to develop concepts for advertising campaign. “Look behind the label” named the most successful Marks and Spencer campaign; however, the company continued to release television advertisements featuring famous personalities. This constant release of advertisements helped the company to make sales and increase profit.
The food products of the company were advertised in a way that the customers will see and feel the difference of buying the products from the competitors. “This is not just a food, this is M&S food” was used for the food campaign of M&S products which undeniably hit the market causing large number of sales after it was released to the public (Campaign). • British Home Stores British Home Stores answers the competition not only by offering new products in the market; in fact, the company also spends large amount of money for promotion and advertisement in order to outwit the competitors.
The company allot big budget for advertising campaign with the hope of having a large return on investment. The television advertisement of the company aimed to capture the attention of the mid-market with an emphasis on snuggly, warm clothes to fit in with the “Feel Bhs” strap line. This campaign was developed to coincide with the release of M&S’s “Your M&S” campaign (Matthews, 2004). Competition in Retail Industry The market could feel the intense competition between the Marks and Spencer and the British Home Stores.
The product lines and the concepts of advertisements could provide evidences of brand rivalry in the emerging market. However, the public could still point out which of the two companies can be considered as market leader in retail industry. Marks and Spencer has been suffering from poor performance for seven straight quarters of falling which gave pressure to the company to develop more strategic plans for rapid improvement. Moreover, M&S has more expensive products than Bhs which has given Philip Green’s company a competitive advantage.
On the other hand, Bhs has been successful in selling products to the market. With their wide variety of products in the store shelves, the company was able to gain the loyalty of different clusters in the society. Even though, M&S and Bhs offer same product lines, Bhs has undeniably gain an edge through the balance promotion of the items to specific target audience. On the contrary, M&S focused more on older generation which make them lose the younger market. Task 2 – Planning Evaluation of Marketing Plan
Although the market share of Marks and Spencer has been falling in the previous years, the company was able to stabilize its apparel products and increased the food sales in the market. There have been new ideas for rapid sales growth and the advertisements have been very effective in persuading the customers to purchase the products that are being offered in the market. However, the company still experiences some conflicts in the operation. This SWOT analysis of Marks and Spencer would show the inappropriate application of marketing plan in the market.
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