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The Description Of Strategy Of Markings And Spencer Marketing Essay

First of most before discussing the current strategy of MS we need to talk about about the old strategy of MS first. The strategy of MS was to focus on the grade of food. They provided the best quality of fresh food to consumers plus they use only British isles suppliers. Moreover, the partnership between consumers is very importance. They concerned more about the consumers' satisfaction. So, they truly became the biggest store in the Great britain in 1990 because their market shares were growth rapidly. From then on M&S was planning to restructure their strategy. First of all, they tried to increase their variety of food especially bakeries. Second, they created their services such as clothes. Third, they would like to catch the attention of new consumers by creating new website and at exactly the same time they want to keep their old consumers as well. Previous one, they are expanding their retailers to numerous countries included European countries and Asian, which made M&S well know until nowadays.

2. The research of exterior environment


Political factors

The government was establish the role for many retailers to follow of course, if any sellers do not follow this role, they have to be fined or in some cases the retailer retailers need to be finished down. Once M&S did not follow this role, they will be the first retailers to go down to the fair-trade path on both clothes and food. The fair-trade policy has included lower salt and extra fat in M&S foods, recycled product packaging and dog welfare security.

Economical factors

According to the current economic, people don't have much money as days gone by or we can say that folks do not have much cash to cover expensive items or luxury items. M&S was affected too much with this downturn. There were many people lost the work because some M&S shops were closed. To become survived M&S has launched the special campaign during the Holiday event. It is a discount 20% two days and nights during the Christmas event and 20% off for wine and Champagne. They have to change the way they doing on the market to be able to still being the top of retailers in market.

Sociological factors

According to the modified in world, M&S wishes to be as a multi-channel retailer. They created website for consumers to shopping online. For another meaning they are trying to catch up other competition such as Asda. Furthermore, they enhance their quality of products especially clothes. In order to be attractive, they have to be in trend in fashion and keep information current to make consumers interested.

Technological factors

The company need to continuously talk to consumers, for M&S, they put much importance into advertising and it is work. M&S has it own presenter as an actress, which well know. Additionally, M&S website is simple to use and the colour is interesting. Moreover, information in M&S website is current.

Legal factors

M&S always revise regulations included taxation change. They want to ensure that health insurance and safety legal coverage is current. For a good example is M&S products will contain information about who's produced, how much it contain even the portion in children and adult.

Environmental factors

According to the problem of environment today, many companies are pressure. They have to be very friendly to environment but also for M&S they did not fret because they already an idea which is very friendly to environment and this plan called Plan A. This course of action is included decrease waste to the land, health promoting business and etc.

2. 2 Porter's five causes of competition

As stated by Andrew (2001), the Porter's common strategies platform assist the business to evaluate a competitive atmosphere. The five Porters induce mainly offer with entry menace, power of potential buyers and suppliers, substitute's risk, and competitive rivalry.

Threat of entry

According to Porter (1980), access freedom into a fresh market is generally considered an indication of the level of company's competitiveness. Porter further says that the bigger the barriers to entry, the less the threat of new companies moving into the market. Markings and Spencer independently will keep prices low strategically to reduce possible entrants into the market. This is called access deterring pricing that establishes a barrier to other rivals. As stated by Anthony (1999), these barriers are unique characteristics of an industry that defines it. The barriers decrease the rate at which new firms get into the industry thus keeping low gains levels for other companies.

Power of buyers

For Marks and Spencer to underlying to its customers, it must emphasis on grassroots acquisition of customers to be able to offer an enlarged bargaining power to them. Consumers can enhance their bargaining power assume the products of an organization are not affordable or are of low quality. The consumers an likewise have strong bargaining electricity suppose they purchase standard, undifferentiated goods from suppliers. The customers will be fragile if companies can over own retailing if the suppliers aren't standardized and the customer cannot switch to another product (Johnson and Scholes, 2002). The business has tried to minimize such situations for high competitive benefits. The company in addition has to find new delivery methods that will improve client satisfaction.

Power of suppliers

According to Porters (1980), a dealer can have effect suppose the business works within a restricted market and there's a degree of substitutability. As asserted by Give (2005), there are a few factors that determine the energy of the business to realize all the needed profile to meet the relevant profits. There are credible onwards integration risks by suppliers, supplier's amount, cost of moving over suppliers, and its own powerfulness to boycott poor products (Anthony, 1999). The business must maintain a chain of suppliers because of its products to overcome the competition.

Threat of Substitutes

Porter (1980) represents the threat of substitution as the identification of alternative products that is capable of doing the same function as the product involved. Grades and Spencer experiences some hazards from the merchandise of others. To an economist, intimidation of competition take place supposes the product demand is influenced by change in cost of the opponents. Marks and Spencer's products demand have been adversely influenced by the strategic change in prices of others (Coyne, 1996). The new styles available and the changing dressing method are creating high competition between Marks and Spencer and other competitive companies.


Marks and Spencer encounters high competition because various companies have surfaced producing high quality products at affordable prices. This high amount shows that the business has many opponents and majority comes with an important market talk about. To counter competition, Markings and Spencer has were able to lower prices so as to gain a short-term advantage. It has additionally strived to boost their product features and attributes during the production (Give, 2005).

3. The research of interior environment

The inside environment of Grades and Spencer will be assessed through value string analysis, resources and competences framework, and VRIO platform.

3. 1 Value Chain

Primary activities

Inbound logistics: Markings and Spencer has launched warehouse loan consolidation programme. M&S opened up its new warehouse in Bradford which mixed most of its food suppliers from four centres into one site. Also, building a second new warehouse in the East Midlands that may provide e-commerce center along with Country wide Distribution Centre. These make it better control over the source chain.

Operations: M&S proven wide amounts of sub-brand predicated on better and best value products to meet customer needs. For the food business, M&S launched in-store bakery to deliver freshness of products to customers. In addition, M&S modernised its stores in order to increase the atmosphere in the store and make more inspiring shopping environment.

Outbound logistics: M&S has a number of channel procedures, which provide a flexible selection of order and delivery options. M&S provided extra convenience service for online shopping by offering next day delivery options.

Marketing and sales: M&S offers many of high impact promotions. For instance, Dine Set for 10 continued to boost in popularity. The promotional advertising campaign provides increased value to customers and also profits competitiveness against competitions. The company also invested in advertising in papers and periodicals.

Service: In order to maintain and raise customer service standard, M&S launched staff zoning across Food Halls and provided more staffs in the store.

Support activities

Firm infrastructure: M&S has a flatter organisation framework or fewer tiers of hierarchy. This structure gives a quick response when the organisation requires a decision.

Human source management: M&S has well-trained staffs related with their role in the organisation. All staffs have an individual development plan based on their consequence of a performance review that takes place every 6 months.

Technology development: M&S persisted to innovate services in order to get more choice for customers. The business also invests in technology such as creating a new store format which using technology to increase the range and ease of shopping.

Financial management and control: M&S has enough financial resources of fund which is underpinned by strong balance sheet. The company manages all expenses carefully and spends every cent wisely.

3. 2 Resources and Competences

Threshold resources

M&S has over 703 stores across UK and over 304 international stores across 44 countries in which there are sufficient experienced staffs to service customers. To be able to maintain quality of goods, M&S has long-time suppliers to ensure ethically sources and the highest quality of natural material.

Distinctive resources

M&S is one of the leading sellers in UK. They have long history and strong brand. M&S's stores always seem on traditional and retail parks as well as channels, international airports, and out of town. Its major store, which includes selling space around 170, 000 rectangular feet, is located at London's Oxford Block.

Threshold competences

M&S provides a variety of products such as clothing, food, and home products along with good service waiting for you.

Distinctive competences

M&S provides outstanding quality of goods and has potential to produce more and more innovative products. The company launched different shopping programs to make customers much easier to shopping.

Table 1: Resources and Competences

Threshold Resources

Threshold Competences

Long-time suppliers

A massive amount stores

Experienced staffs

A variety of products

Service in store

Distinctive Resources

Distinctive Competences

Brand reputation

Store location

High quality of goods

Innovative products

Multi-channel retailer

3. 3 VRIO

The evaluation of VRIO platform will give attention to distinctive resources and competences. Due to threshold resources and competences are not unusual in the retail business result in competitive parity.

Table 2: VRIO framework

Resources and Competences



Difficult to Imitate?

Exploiting by the Company?

Competitive implications

Brand reputation





Sustained competitive advantage

Store location




Temporary competitive advantage

Quality of goods





Sustained competitive advantage

Innovative products





Sustained competitive advantage





Temporary competitive advantage

4. SWOT analysis

4. 1 Strengths

Innovative strategies

M&S is definitely known because of its ground breaking products and services, customers are enticed towards new products which are launched in market segments. M&S appeals to customers for its enhanced product line and differentiation strategies.

M&S enjoys a huge market show online, its exclusive stores caters to the need of men and women who doesn't shop to get due to lack of time. It caters them all to live healthy with good quality products by providing at their door steps.

Customers are faithful and content with M&S as shown in the food and health review conducted by business population for food and health in 2011. Customers given preferences to choose from variety of foods available, they prefer M&S because of its good quality and customer services.

Leadership style adopted by M&S is impressive to dominate the larger market share as the customers like progressive products. M&S gives the best innovated product with their customers which assists with bringing up their brand value and much more satisfied customers.

4. 2 Weakness

Neglecting the young ones demands

M&S is weakened as seen in the study, among the youth and its own demand, it failed to cater the needs of the children. Satisfied category of customers is aged between 30-50 years. It should give attention to its clothing brand to dominate the interest patterns for youngsters to get more market talk about.

Lesser expansion in food market

It has been seen that the growth opportunities are prevailing on the market to open new stores and capitalise the marketplace but M&S sometimes appears to be hesitant to start new stores for growing demand & needs.

4. 3 Opportunities

Innovative strategies

The clothing sections must be revised and should be categorised in manner to create income as customers choose the M&S clothing series but they cannot discover their brand to discover the best customer category.

Instead of concentrating only on M&S food, it will cover major sections on the market to be able to make the brand value high and differentiated product line.

M&S should try innovating its digital stores, stores like Littlewoods, Topshop, Asos, plays major jobs in online market and suits the necessity of allot of customers.

4. 4 Threats

External competition

The market players who are the biggest hazard to the brand as their are leading stores that happen to be in close competition with M&S could appeal to the customers with better quality products and differentiated prices, brands like Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury in food retails; and Distance, Next, Topshop in its clothing string.

Changes may influence the business units and their pre-planned budgets as it will disturb the strategies being designed and will cause in taking on measures to rectify the changes environment problems are growing with the ongoing needs and companies catering public are believed to be guilty for over using the resources creating exploitation.

Threat of new entrants

Market entrants is the largest threat for M&S, as multinationals might recognize in a joint venture of merger with the local community to give a good competition to M&S.

5. A description of the competitive strategy

In the universal strategy M&S is defined as " Differentiation Strategy ". M&S is wide-ranging differentiation. Based on the quality of products, M&S's products are high grade than other rivals such as Tesco and Asda. The business focused on the quality of products in order to gain the bigger price than competitors. As everyone knows, M&S products are unique. They sell only their products, which have the trust from customers for quite some time. Their products will vary from rivals. Moreover, in line with the Porter 5 pushes, it proved that the possible of new entrants is low since it needs much money to get into this business which is difficult to take customers from M&S. customers noticed very safe when shopping with M&S even online shopping. They know they can get the high quality products. More importantly, M&S service is quite difference from competitors. Customers will get a very good service from M&S staff. It is one point which makes M&S difference from other competitor not only products.

6. May be the strategy regular with the exterior environment and the resources and competences of the business?

We can say that M&S's strategy is successful. It attracted customers by using several strategies such as "Plan A" which matter about environment. M&S is one of environmentally friendly friendly companies, which centered on carbon natural and zero waste materials to landfill. Furthermore, most customers understand the grade of M&S products. It provided high quality along with ground breaking products, which allow customers to have more alternatives. This is a key factor that leads M&S sustainable progress. Furthermore, M&S has long-term and strong marriage using its suppliers; which means company can keep up with the products' quality. Altogether, M&S has adaptable strategies to quickly response market changes in order to achieve the customer needs.

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