Competitive business strategy of M&S
Discuss about the Managing Developing and Implementing Strategy.
This report is all about the competitive business strategy being used or implemented by any organization. Basically, this report will talk about using the innovative and developed strategy in the business operation of any organization. For the discussion, Marks and Spencer’s will be taken. Marks and Spencer’s is very popular as M & S in the retail market of clothes. The company mainly deals with the clothes, luxury products, food items etc. Because of its unique strategy and competitive advantage, the company became more profitable company. But having competitive strategy, the company became able to overcome from the crisis. In terms of customer services, the company treats its customers with high class quality value for money prices and fashionable clothes. The company also offers home products such as food which has high class quality, and best variety of food. The company has more than 700 stores in UK and many more stores in the international market. The company has unique competitive strategy and innovative strategy to stay competitive in the market (Marks & Spencer, 2016).
The company adopts market development strategy that helps the company to stay competitive in the market. It is very important for the growth in the sales of the company. This strategy is also helpful to meet the financial results of the company. Because of the competitive advantage, Marks and Spencer use product development strategy (Spencer, 2015). The company is able to stay competitive in the market due to low cost structure. Having competitive advantage, Marks and Spencer can focus on the financial goals. To achieve long term growth and success, company is focusing on continuous product development strategy. Marks and Spencer is using the term competitive advantage as its employees. The company has good reputation in the market because of its best customer services. The employees in the company use their talents to serve the customers. Company seeks the competitive advantage with effective cost and leadership strategies (European Commission, 2011).
Now, Marks and Spencer is adopting new strategies by strategic deployment of strongly committed people. By providing equal opportunities to the employees, company is able to increase the skills and potential to gain competitive advantage in the market. Along with this, company is directly connected to its clients and customers to maintain the business relationships as the company want to attain the customers and clients personally. By using the social media, company is able to provide cost effective marketing options to the customers. Along with this, by the social media, company is able to communicate with the clients directly. By these strategies, the Marks and Spencer is gaining competitive advantage in the retail industry (Vizard, 2015).
Performance of Marks and Spencer over recent years
Marks and Spencer is the biggest company is the retail market. Marks and Spencer is an iconic brand for the customers and it is considered one of the top ten brands. The company is having competitive advantage in the market and providing best quality of products to its customers. The company has invested a lot in the innovation and advertising for brand building during the recession. This was a successful decision to strengthen its brand image and position among the customers. This is the reason; the performance of Marks and Spencer is improving every year. Having strong brand position, the company is offering high quality and good value products to the customers. The performance of the company is same like the set business strategy for the success. The food business of the company is delivering good quality and growing in every quarter in the last financial year. The company is maintaining its profit margin every year. The company has strong focus on products under consumer-focused strategy which is very beneficial for the company. The main focus of the company is to provide great and superb experience to the customers including online sector. Having the online site i.e. M&S.com, the company got growth and success in the last quarter of 2014 (Ruddick, 2016).
The Marks and Spencer is working based on the set business strategy. Having the competitive advantage in the clothing market, Marks and Spencer has also strong hold in the food business. Through specialist strategy, company is able to increase its sales. By expanding its network of stores, food and fastest food opening program, the company is using this trend in its history in 2015/2016. In terms of competitors, the company is outperforming the market buy 3.5%. The Marks and Spencer has around six million online customers and it is expected that the number of customers will increase 14.5 million (Retail Week, 2016).
Shareholders are affected by the operations and performance of the company. Stakeholders have the significant role in the implementation of the strategy by the company. The stakeholders of Marks and Spencer are pleased with the operations of the company. The group of the stakeholders meets twice in a year and gives advice on the strategy for further executions. The board of Marks and Spencer focus the expectations of the stakeholders. Basically, the stakeholders of Marks and Spencer have great influence on the sustainability strategy of the company. The shareholders get their returns on the time from Marks and Spencer. So the performance of the company is accepted by stakeholders (Brignall, 2016).
Performance accepted by key stakeholders
From the overall assessment, it can be said that the environmental trends and forces are impacting the operations of the company. The company has faced both a decrease in sales as well as increment in the competition in the market from the discounters, retailers, new fashion brands, and other entries in the clothing and food business. Despite of having strong brand image and strong position in the market, the company is facing the macro and microeconomic problems. Company has ongoing innovation and digital transformation in the operations by having social, environmental and ethical business strategy. There are some issues such as strict rules and regulations imposed by the government of the company. It has increasing the consumer pressure on the company. Further, the company has deeply affected by the European agreement free trade agreements which has decreased the sourcing cost (Makos, 2014).
Along with this, there many legal factors such as consumers’ rights, health and safety regulations, antitrust regulations and other legal factors which have affected the operations of Marks and Spencer. The company has to ensure that the operations of the company will not be stopped by any law or regulation. Company needs a strategic plan to deal with the environmental factors. Although company is well prepared for the challenges in food and clothing retail sector but there is strong competition in the market where the Marks and Spencer is operating and the competition is continuously growing. The company is facing competition by the supermarket chains, fashion retailers and home wear stores (Krish, 2012).
The key factor of the success of Marks and Spencer are as follows:
- To survive in the competitive market, Marks and Spencer has done various innovations and developments in the products. In terms of profit making, Marks and Spencer has also gain success by providing best quality of products. The innovation in the products was very useful for the company to attract new customers (The Marketing Society, 2010).
- Marks and Spencer has provided best quality of products and services to its customers. By managing the customers and identifying their needs and requirements, company is able to get success in the market of clothing and food (Ruddick, 2013).
By identifying the needs of the customers, Marks and Spencer has planned to open more stores for the convenience if the customers. By ‘Only M&S’ strategy, company has created unique storytelling based brand identity among the customers. Along with this, company is going to invest in the digital development sector by launching the marksnadspancer.com. Now, the company is using the customer loyalty data to target the market and promotional activities to increase the sales and for customer satisfaction. The company has introduced free delivery systems for purchasing more than $50.
In Marks and Spencer, all the relevant stakeholders need information for their relative subjects. Almost every company reports to give the information to the shareholders. In Marks and Spencer, the stakeholders also want all the information related to business activities and strategies. There is the lack of communication between the company and stakeholders. In future, there is the need to improve communication system for effective communication with stakeholders. By management training and implementation of information system, company will be able to identify the need of stakeholders and try to fulfill them (TaylorWessing, 2015).
On the basis of above discussion, it has been ob served that Marks and Spencer’s is very popular in the market. The company is able to stay competitive in the market due to low cost structure. Having competitive advantage, Marks and Spencer can focus on the financial goals. Because of providing best quality products and customer retentions, the company is famous among the customers across the world. The company has invested a lot in the innovation and advertising for brand building during the recession. Through specialist strategy, company is able to increase its sales. So, Company has ongoing innovation and digital transformation in the operations by having social, environmental and ethical business strategy. It can be said that company is well prepared for the challenges in food and clothing retail sector.
Brignall, M., (2016), M&S raises the stakes in battle over current accounts, accessed on 3rd January 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/jan/05/ms-raises-stakes-battle-currentaccounts-marks-spencer
European Commission, (2011), M&S aims to become world's most sustainable retailer, accessed on 3rd January 2017 from https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/about-ecoinnovation/business-fundings/united-kingdom/488_en.htm
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Marks & Spencer, (2016), Annual Report & Financial Statements, London: Marks & Spencer Plc
Retail Week, (2016), Fashion Retail 2016: The future of fashion retailing in a digital age, London: Retail Week
Ruddick, G., (2013), Should M&S give up on clothes and focus on food? Accessed on 3rd January 2017 from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10403348/Should-MandS-giveup-on-clothes-and-focus-on-food.html
Ruddick, G., (2016), Welcome to the M&S merry-go-round, accessed on 3rd January 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/07/welcome-to-the-ms-merry-go-round
Spencer, J., (2015), Business Strategy: Managing Uncertainty, Opportunity, and Enterprise, Oxford: Oxford University Press
TaylorWessing, (2015), Technology trends in fashion, accessed on 3rd January 2017 from https://www.taylorwessing.com/download/article_fashiontech_trends.html
The Marketing Society, (2010), Marks & Spencer: Quality worth paying more for, Marketing Excellence 2
Vizard, S., (2015), Marks & Spencer brand perceptions on the rise as it is rated one of the UK’s top brands, accessed on 3rd January 2017 from https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/07/15/marks-spencer-brand-perceptions-on-the-rise-as-it-israted-one-of-the-uks-top-brands/
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