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& Spencer (M&S) has been a few primary company for clothing and
food market in UK.  Founded in 1884 by
Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer, it has a record of over 76,000 staff in a
global level and works with over 2000 suppliers (Annual Report and Financial
Statement, 2010). 

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However, Marks
and Spencer are facing a vital test of reviving their two core-businesses food
and clothing that are currently suffering from tough competition with more
fashionable and fresh high street competitors which lead to decline in sales. Here
is a SWOT analysis which will be able to identify their strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats faced by the external competitors (Harrison, 2015).


Marks &
Spencer has 1382 stores worldwide and with their wife expansion with their
franchisers give them a strong competitive advantage among their competitors on
the UK market (Rogers, 2012).

currently operating in 59 countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East
owned retail joints and retail franchise operations and a web page that is
performing well in priority markets such as India, as their food business is
growing in regions such as Hong Kong and Europe (Marks & Spencer, 2015).

Food business has
managed to sustain like-for-like growth every quarter in the last financial
year, maintaining its margins and outperforming the market (Marks &
Spencer, 2015).  Hence a shift of focus
on products strategy has benefited the company and it will be a new focus on
providing customers with a superb experience (Marks & Spencer, 2015).


New brands such
as Autograph and Per Una has been introduced to establish as well as their own
website but it has taken a market share decline as they thought to be company’s
most profitable business (The Telegraph, 2014) and there is no desirable
outcome despite attempts to expanding the market (BBC, 2013).

On the other
hand, the company is losing key employees to their competitors which includes
food, product as well as merchandising design members which has affected the
investment in recruitment, hiring and training of new employees which the
company is facing the risk of their information plans, contract and business to
their competitors (Davey, 2016).

The Company has
also been late in entering digital user-centred retail space and their own
M website was launched in 2014 after their years of development (The
Telegraph, 2014). In addition, the site has encountered technical problems as
well as privacy breaches on their site regards to their members’ club and card
scheme at the end of 2015, which results to a brief shutdown of their site
(Curtis, 2015).






Even though the clothing
sales are falling, M&S still maintain a strong hold in their food business which
leads to an increase in their sales. Hence, they can make use of the tread by expanding
their organization to convenience stores and it holds one of the fastest store opening
in the history of their company in 2015/2016 (The Economist, 2015).

Their M&S web page
currently has 6 million online customers which has not yet to reach, engage and
convert 14.5 million customers who shop online with its competitors (The
Telegraph, 2014).  


M&S has been affected
by the recession and has seen a big fall in sales in 2009 and there is a 4-year
decline in their clothing sales and also faced a 10-year decline of their clothing
sales in the June 2016 (Davey, 2016).

As the company still achieve
sales by value, it’s decline in clothing caused the company to shift from clothes
to food. (The Economist, 2015).


– Rebranding could be one of the solution as one of success
rebrand company such as Burberry famous check design was banned in pubs and
clubs from Aberdeen to Leicester for its association with hooliganism. Today, many of the
celebrities has become Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne their brand ambassadors.

– Brand extension such as companies like Giorgio Armani as they
have successfully able to enlarge their product range by adding new varieties
or variation of their product to expand their market share by stretching their
products from ready-to-wear to also selling decoration such as Ornament &
Watches, Cosmetics & Fragrances, Sunglasses, Furniture as well as
Restaurants Nightclubs, Hotel & Resorts and even chocolates.



Shopping via multiple channels is
a rapidly growing experience and with companies continually adding new channels
(e.g., Ansari et al., 2008; Coughlan et al., 2006; Geyskens et al., 2002) and
customers increasingly using various devices anywhere and at any time (e.g.,
Avery et al., 2012; Balasubramanian et al., 2002).  


Marks & Spencer aim to become a leading global
multi-channel retailer that contains a 900,000 square. feet centre that can handle
online live orders for store deliveries as well as an automated site that is
able to hold 16 million products and able to process a million items daily. The
site is fully integrated with some of the latest technology features in the
warehousing industry that includes automated storage and retrieval systems structures
that could guarantee delivery accuracy.


contains 150,000 different products which is up to 16 million individual
products in total; and it is 24/7 operation that utilize up to 50 vehicles a
day; and 1,200 of employees during peak periods and it is a mix of M
employees and agency employees and a proportion of them recruited through Marks
& Start Logistics.



6 ways to improve of
Multi-Channels across the Countries:

1) Global ecommerce platform across the countries

shopping has become more popular among customers both through computers and
mobile devices so for shoppers, the benefits are plentiful because shopping
online helps saves time which also offers a boarder product selection which allows
for cost savings in terms of taxes, the price of the product and money saved on

2) Virtual rail

The floor
to head height screen is touch-enabled and one can swipe through the catalogue
looking for outfit inspiration. There will be also videos that would be play on
the rail which would help and recommend matches the items you have scanned or

3) Accurate
stock levels


It would help in reducing customer service issues by using the updating
stock levels online and it will indicate which product are available. Once
added the payment is made, the stock is committed to the customer.



4) Checkout
defaults to collect-in-store


M is to
this new method of delivery, the new website checkout defaults to collect
in-store. The dynamic store finder works very well on desktop and mobile.


5) Next
day collect-in-store


Next day collect-in-store and the Customers have come to expect this
flexibility of delivery once the system.


6) Browse
and order hubs in store


Hubs debuted in stores allows users to browse the catalogue or scan
barcodes on items and explore product information. Customers can choose to
order on the device and collect later or have the product delivered and by familiarising
offline customers with the M catalogue online will be a smart move as
M has 6 million customers that have never used its website.

4 Advantages of Multi-Channel Retailing

1) Improved customer

Stores that could create seamless experience which will be integrates
with all different types of technology and as a result able to gain compelling
customer loyalty and it will be perceived as forward-thinking and responsive to
customer’s needs that will keep customers coming back.

2) Increased

By offering a range of points for the customer to make a purchase, it
would increase the convenience and ease of sales, thus boosting profit.


3) Better data collection

The benefits for data collect are the
possibility of gathering more data exits as well as the information will be
more accurate and able to be used more effectively.

4) Enhanced productivity

Multichannel retails offer better benefit not only to the shoppers but
as well as employees from the use of the new technology by equipping them with
more information will increase their efficiency.


M&S has
made great progress and overcome many difficulties throughout the years. However,
in today’s fiercely competitive market environment, the reason what caused the
decline in their business is due to their late response to crisis and the
changes around their market as well as their competitors, so we would recommend
that them staying relevant through innovation and spot new trends ahead of
their competitors and be more distribution and promotional innovation.

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