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This is a report on the high-street retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S). Marks and Spencer is one of UK's leading retailers of clothes and food. Marks and Spencer has a testimony of success with its well recognized reputation for its innovative, quality products and value. This offers customers the value for their money. Marks and Spencer own over 600 UK stores, 300 stores managed under franchise in 40 territories.
Marks and Spencer has launched its PLAN A in January 2007 to achieve 100 targets in five years. Mark and Spencer than extend their commitments to 180 to achieve by 2015.These commitments are to become world's most sustainable major retailer.
Plan A focuses on following areas
Sustainable raw material
Mark and Spencer has been very focused to achieve their target and has achieved most of their goals.
External environment of M&S (PESTLE Analysis)
This part of the report will look at the external factor that might affect the Marks and Spencer either in good or bad way. PASTEL Analysis will be the technique that would be used to look around the organization.
Like all other organizations Marks and Spencer has no control over the political conditions of the countries where Mark and Spencer is operating. If the political conditions are better, there would be opportunities for the organization. If there is even a change of governance there would be threat for Mark and Spencer.
Economic change impacts on the organizations. For example when value added tax (VAT) increased the prices of goods selling on Marks and Spencer stores increased. So in that way M&S loose some of its customer till their prices go back to on which those customers were paying for M&S products.
Now a days being update with fashion is compulsory and core element of fashion are cloths and accessories. Social behaviour of customer effected Marks and Spencer. Marks and Spencer no doubt produce quality products with reasonable price but fail to produce more fashionable clothing. Competitors of M&S sell more fashionable clothes in low price to the customers.
Use of internet and auto machines is common in today's market. Customers do like to purchase from internet and retailer use latest technology to produce their goods. Mark and Spencer launched their online shopping on their website in 1999.
Marks and Spencer has to follow legal statements from the government in shape of laws. Marks and Spencer has to follow disability discrimination legislation, age discrimination law and health and safety rules etc.
Climate change is cause of global warming retailers are now using eco friendly raw material to produce their goods, and also urging their customers to recycle the goods properly. In which Marks and Spencer is also playing it`s role by trying to reduce the use of plastic bags instead using easily disposable bags made out of cloths or paper mostly cloth bags are getting more value because these cloth bags can be use easily again if needed and also packaging of their food products in a way that left over can be recycled easily.
Internal environment of Mark and Spencer
Internal environment of an organization is a combination of all the conditions, faculties,Â events, andÂ factorsÂ within an organization whichÂ influence itsÂ activities. In this part on the report we will look at the strengths and the weaknesses of Mark and Spencer
Experience leadership is Marks and Spencer biggest strength Marks and Spencer's has Marc Bolland Ex-CEO of WS Morrison(super market chain)as a captain of the ship. Marc Bolland lift up the sales of Marks and Spencer. Tesco.com's CEO Laura Wade-Gery will also join M&S this summer as executive director of multichannel and e-commerce.
Marks and Spencer has over 70,000 employees to facilitate 21 million customers visiting their more than 800 stores across the world.
Marks and Spencer has strong finical resources. In 2009 M&S closed 27 of their store in France because of financial crisis ,But Marks and Spencer recover well and now they are going back to France.
Services rendered to customers:
A good customer service is being offered at all of Marks and Spencer. Employees at Marks and Spencer are always polite to their customers no matter that how many time customers bother them for any information or ideas or advice on clothing. Customer service agents help the customer in every possible way.
No compromise on Quality:
Although prices of Marks and Spencer are little bit high comparing to its competitors but there is no compromise on quality in Marks and Spencer stores. They sell quality products at reasonable price if the price is compared to the products quality they are selling.
In store restaurant:
Some of Mark and Spencer Store do have in store restaurants. Quality food and wine with excellent service is being offered at all of them in reasonable price of pound 10.
Major challenges for Marks and Spencer
In this part of the report we will look on the major problems and challenges of Marks and Spencer. Major challenges for M&S are mentioned below
Marks and Spencer has tuff competitors around to compete with such as Debenham and BHS in terms of clothing mainly and also they have big competitors like ASDA and TESCO in terms of food. Marks and Spencer has to make sure that they are ahead of them in all section from quality to the customer service.
Marks and Spencer's Marketing has been poor they have been failed to attract the young generation. They must have to change their Marketing strategy.
New fashion trends:
Marks and Spencer has less fashionable cloth for the young people. As fashion is main consideration of young people their competitors take advantage of it and attract the young generation with more fashionable clothing for them.
Maintaining company image:
Marks and Spencer is 126 year old organization with a great reputation being the UK's largest retailers and being called the High Street Giants. Marks and Spencer has a challenge to deliver quality with reasonable price to the customers.
Impact of external environment on M&S strategy
External environment always effect the organization in bad or good way. External environment of Marks and Spencer effected it let's have a look
Change in Marketing strategy:
Realizing the importance of good marketing Marks and Spencer change its strategy. Marks and Spencer change their old MARKS & SPENCER logo to YOUR M&S to attract younger people
Marks and Spencer also started mobile Marketing with O2 network.
Marks and Spencer were not offering online shopping services to the customers. The trend of online shopping forced Marks and Spencer to start online shopping facility. Marks and Spencer started online shopping in 1999 and earn huge amount of money by sell their clothes online. Marks and Spencer now selling more than 22,000 products online.
Plan A is also an out come of external environment of Marks and Spencer. Marks and Spencer realise their responsibility being a retailer of clothing, they sell millions of clothes every year and customers waste them after use same happens with plastic bags. Marks and Spencer started collecting used clothes under their Plan A and giving 4 pound voucher to the user, then M&S recycle their clothes. On the other hand they started charging 50p for each shopping bag and collected money is being use for the charity.
Competitive advantages of Marks and Spencer:
In this part of the report we will discuss about the competitive advantages of Marks and Spencer. Competitive advantages are the advantages that an organization has over its competitors that might be in shape of its product, prices and quality let's have a look on Marks and Spencer's competitive advantages
Marks and Spencer has a background of over 125 years. Over 70,000 people serving it around the globe, over 21 million customers visit at Marks and Spencer stores weekly , they have close and strong relationship with suppliers their over 125 year reputation has worth. Marks and Spencer also have a key advantage of their name over the suppliers e.g. If Marks and Spencer goes to new supplier and ask for any finished product or raw material and Marks and Spencer will be in position to decide the price of that raw material or finished product although Marks and Spencer is buyer but it`s name will give it an advantage on that point. Their reputation has an advantage over their competitors.
Marks and Spencer have eco factories that consume less energy and they use InsoliaÂ technology to produce comfortable high heel shoes for ladies. Basically Insolia technology is specially working on high heels for ladies as in normal heels body weight is transferred to toes only but in insolia technology insole of heels are use in such a way that half of the body weight is carried by the heel and the remaining by the toes which helps in getting rid off from high heels pain. None of their competitor has this technology.
Organizations in this century are very sensitive. Specially when it comes to the Political, technological and economical developments. Global warming is most effective towards the change of the strategies of an organization. Just like global warming forced Marks and Spencer to come up with Plan A to play its part as being biggest retailer of high street. To remain on its position of level as it is right now Marks and Spencer have to address some other issues as well such as price of its products. Marks and Spencer is selling its quality products on a price which is not helping M&S to cover a very big market. VAT is also cause of increase in prices to the products of M&S but in this position where other competitors are making money because of their cheap prices are taking advantage M&S have to cut its profit a little bit in order to keep its customer in their shops regularly. Also Marks and Spencer have to bring element of new fashion in its clothing section specially because in minds of many buyers M&S is brand of old people which attracts very less amount of young people. Marks and Spencer is reacting very late to its external environment specifically when it comes to its competitors. Like M&S introduced online shopping in 1999 although it was boosting that time and was good money making opportunity but M&S was one of the last big market leaders to introduce it still it need more changes like they must now introduce Virtual interface of online customers to their products. Few years back Marks and Spencer had to close down 27 of its outlets in France because of financial problems but as they have recovered from those crisis now they must open those outlets again ASAP as France is centre of Fashion in the whole world.
If Marks and Spencer will address to these issues then it is expected that M&S can boost up its profit very easily.