Introduction Marks& Spencer (M&S) has been a few primary company for clothing andfood market in UK. Founded in 1884 byMichael Marks and Thomas Spencer, it has a record of over 76,000 staff in aglobal level and works with over 2000 suppliers (Annual Report and FinancialStatement, 2010).
SWOTAnalysisHowever, Marksand Spencer are facing a vital test of reviving their two core-businesses foodand clothing that are currently suffering from tough competition with morefashionable and fresh high street competitors which lead to decline in sales. Hereis a SWOT analysis which will be able to identify their strengths, weaknesses,opportunities and threats faced by the external competitors (Harrison, 2015). StrengthsMarks &Spencer has 1382 stores worldwide and with their wife expansion with theirfranchisers give them a strong competitive advantage among their competitors onthe UK market (Rogers, 2012). M&S,currently operating in 59 countries across Europe, Asia and the Middle Eastowned retail joints and retail franchise operations and a web page that isperforming well in priority markets such as India, as their food business isgrowing in regions such as Hong Kong and Europe (Marks & Spencer, 2015). Food business hasmanaged to sustain like-for-like growth every quarter in the last financialyear, maintaining its margins and outperforming the market (Marks &Spencer, 2015). Hence a shift of focuson products strategy has benefited the company and it will be a new focus onproviding customers with a superb experience (Marks & Spencer, 2015).
WeaknessNew brands suchas Autograph and Per Una has been introduced to establish as well as their ownwebsite but it has taken a market share decline as they thought to be company’smost profitable business (The Telegraph, 2014) and there is no desirableoutcome despite attempts to expanding the market (BBC, 2013). On the otherhand, the company is losing key employees to their competitors which includesfood, product as well as merchandising design members which has affected theinvestment in recruitment, hiring and training of new employees which thecompany is facing the risk of their information plans, contract and business totheir competitors (Davey, 2016). The Company hasalso been late in entering digital user-centred retail space and their ownM website was launched in 2014 after their years of development (TheTelegraph, 2014). In addition, the site has encountered technical problems aswell as privacy breaches on their site regards to their members’ club and cardscheme at the end of 2015, which results to a brief shutdown of their site(Curtis, 2015). OpportunitiesEven though the clothingsales are falling, M&S still maintain a strong hold in their food business whichleads to an increase in their sales. Hence, they can make use of the tread by expandingtheir organization to convenience stores and it holds one of the fastest store openingin the history of their company in 2015/2016 (The Economist, 2015).
Their M&S web pagecurrently has 6 million online customers which has not yet to reach, engage andconvert 14.5 million customers who shop online with its competitors (TheTelegraph, 2014). WeaknessM&S has been affectedby the recession and has seen a big fall in sales in 2009 and there is a 4-yeardecline in their clothing sales and also faced a 10-year decline of their clothingsales in the June 2016 (Davey, 2016).As the company still achievesales by value, it’s decline in clothing caused the company to shift from clothesto food. (The Economist, 2015).Solutions- Rebranding could be one of the solution as one of successrebrand company such as Burberry famous check design was banned in pubs andclubs from Aberdeen to Leicester for its association with hooliganism. Today, many of thecelebrities has become Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne their brand ambassadors.
– Brand extension such as companies like Giorgio Armani as theyhave successfully able to enlarge their product range by adding new varietiesor variation of their product to expand their market share by stretching theirproducts from ready-to-wear to also selling decoration such as Ornament , Cosmetics & Fragrances, Sunglasses, Furniture as well asRestaurants Nightclubs, Hotel & Resorts and even chocolates. Multichannel Shopping via multiple channels isa rapidly growing experience and with companies continually adding new channels(e.g., Ansari et al., 2008; Coughlan et al., 2006; Geyskens et al., 2002) andcustomers 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 globalmulti-channel retailer that contains a 900,000 square.
feet centre that can handleonline live orders for store deliveries as well as an automated site that isable to hold 16 million products and able to process a million items daily. Thesite is fully integrated with some of the latest technology features in thewarehousing industry that includes automated storage and retrieval systems structuresthat could guarantee delivery accuracy. Itcontains 150,000 different products which is up to 16 million individualproducts in total; and it is 24/7 operation that utilize up to 50 vehicles aday; and 1,200 of employees during peak periods and it is a mix of Memployees and agency employees and a proportion of them recruited through Marks& Start Logistics. 6 ways to improve ofMulti-Channels across the Countries:1) Global ecommerce platform across the countriesInternetshopping has become more popular among customers both through computers andmobile devices so for shoppers, the benefits are plentiful because shoppingonline helps saves time which also offers a boarder product selection which allowsfor cost savings in terms of taxes, the price of the product and money saved ontransportation. 2) Virtual railThe floorto head height screen is touch-enabled and one can swipe through the cataloguelooking for outfit inspiration. There will be also videos that would be play onthe rail which would help and recommend matches the items you have scanned orselected.
3) Accuratestock levels It would help in reducing customer service issues by using the updatingstock levels online and it will indicate which product are available. Onceadded the payment is made, the stock is committed to the customer. 4) Checkoutdefaults to collect-in-store M is tothis new method of delivery, the new website checkout defaults to collectin-store. The dynamic store finder works very well on desktop and mobile.
5) Nextday collect-in-store Next day collect-in-store and the Customers have come to expect thisflexibility of delivery once the system. 6) Browseand order hubs in store Hubs debuted in stores allows users to browse the catalogue or scanbarcodes on items and explore product information. Customers can choose toorder on the device and collect later or have the product delivered and by familiarisingoffline customers with the M catalogue online will be a smart move asM has 6 million customers that have never used its website.4 Advantages of Multi-Channel Retailing1) Improved customerperceptionStores that could create seamless experience which will be integrateswith all different types of technology and as a result able to gain compellingcustomer loyalty and it will be perceived as forward-thinking and responsive tocustomer’s needs that will keep customers coming back.2) IncreasedsalesBy offering a range of points for the customer to make a purchase, itwould increase the convenience and ease of sales, thus boosting profit.
3) Better data collectionThe benefits for data collect are thepossibility of gathering more data exits as well as the information will bemore accurate and able to be used more effectively.4) Enhanced productivityMultichannel retails offer better benefit not only to the shoppers butas well as employees from the use of the new technology by equipping them withmore information will increase their efficiency.ConclusionM&S hasmade great progress and overcome many difficulties throughout the years.
However,in today’s fiercely competitive market environment, the reason what caused thedecline in their business is due to their late response to crisis and thechanges around their market as well as their competitors, so we would recommendthat them staying relevant through innovation and spot new trends ahead oftheir competitors and be more distribution and promotional innovation.