Essays on Marks and Spencer Critical Evaluation Case Study

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The paper "Marks and Spencer Critical Evaluation" is an outstanding example of a business case study.   Marks and Spenser is one of the leading retailers in the United Kingdom. M & S sells high-quality clothing, great value home products, and outstanding quality food unrivaled by the major competitors. The company was founded by Marks back in 1884 where it operated as a penny bazaar and in 1894, Marks formed a partnership with Tom Spencer and from this partnership Marks and Spencer registered a steady growth and became a leader in the retail industry which emerged from a humble beginning (Davies, 1999).

Marks and Spencer Company dominated the British high streets for many decades and was the epitome of enlightened capitalism. For nearly a century, M& S was the largest high profile retailer in Britain which was selling a wide variety of goods and services such as food, clothing, loan services, and high-quality furniture. M& S had successfully implemented a retail formula which was the key element of its growth. However, despite the superiority of the retail formula, the success of the M& S begun to crumble in the wake of the 21st century.

The profits fall rapidly and the glory started to run out. In 1998, Marks and Spencer suffered a major financial ruin when it halted its expansion programs on America and Europe (Mellahi, Jackson & Sparks, 2002). The company announced a 23% decline in the second quarterly profits after being hampered by tough trading conditions. This resulted in a drastic fall in share prices in which the company CEO blamed the turbulent competitive environment. Extensive research has been conducted to critically evaluate the condition of Marks & Spenser and the root causes of its decline in the late 1990s.

This paper evaluates the company profile, the SWOT analysis, and the validity of the strategic management models to the M & S experience through the use of key frameworks of global business as an analytic lens to explain the policies of M& S. The organization culture of Marks and Spencer is characterized as a reflection of the aggressive ideas of Simon Marks who was renowned for his attention to details and personal control over the retail business. The structured formula introduced by Simon has been very successful until the 1990s.

M& S had a corporate culture that has been in operation since its foundation until its decline in the late 1990s (John, 2003). The company was dependant on the British suppliers while overlooking the impact of their operating system on the financial cost. Also, Marks and Spencer had a traditional way of involving specialist buyers, especially in Britain through an operation that was performed from the central buying office and distributed to the other stores. This strategy, however, overlooked the effect of the supply chain on the time factor. Secondly, all the stores owned by Marks and Spencer have identical design, layout, management, and staff training.

The store manager to have strict guidelines and culture to observe and are not at liberty to deviate even slightly from the specifications. This is because there exist severe restrictions on the ways in which the store managers relate with both local and international customers.


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