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Discussion On Marks And Spencer Strategic Management


Task: In an increasingly dynamic environment, it is imperative to adopt a holistic view of what constitutes strategy and its relevance for different organisational contexts. This module is thus developed to provide insight, through engagement in a blend of contemporary theoretical thinking and application, in the field of strategic management. The central underpinning of the module is the exploration of the strategic management process, with participants proactively encouraged to apply and rethink the utility of strategic concepts and frameworks in strategic planning and decision-making, in both planned and emergent contexts. The syllabus, learning materials and teaching/learning methods are therefore specifically designed to expose participants to key theoretical approaches and at the same time to critically challenge existing norms in the field.
This module aims to:
• develop students’ knowledge and understanding of key issues relating to strategic management and the processes of strategy-making.
• encourage students to think critically and strategically about strategy, competition and business development.
• enable students to understand and apply different and diverging perspectives, debates and concepts arising in strategic management.
• provide students with tools, knowledge and skills for managing strategy in future employment.


The proposed study is focused on analyzing the concept of Marks and Spencer strategic management. The present business environment is very competitive in which every organisation is implementing strategies for their survival and growth. The strategic management empowers the organisations to endure in the competition of market. The strategic management refers to the constant planning, assessment, analysis and monitoring of every operation and activity that is significant for a company (Rothaermel, 2017). It helps the company to achieve its objectives. In the present time, the business environment s facing numerous changes and the companies require to analyze their strategies constantly so that they can manage changes. The strategic management also helps the company to manage the changes and remain productive during implementation of change. As per Ansoff et al., (2018), the strategic management encompasses the devising and execution of major goals designed by the management of company on the basis of availability of resources and outcome of the analysis of external and internal environment. Strategic management also provides direction to an organisation for generating plans and policies so that it can achieve its objective. It also involves the allocation of resources as per the plans and policies of the company. The various theories and frameworks of strategic management helps the management to make the strategic decisions. The aim of this report is to discuss Marks and Spencer strategic management by using various theories ad framework. Beside of this, the strategic recommendations are also provided in the report for eliminating the problems in strategy of Marks and Spencer.

Marks and Spencer strategic management

Marks and Spencer are one of the leading retailers of Britain which has its business in various countries of the world. The company has headquartered in Westminster, London. This company is recognized for the high-quality goods for example clothing, food products and the home products. This organisation is also listed in the London Stock Exchange. Thomas Spencer and Michael Marks was the founder of company who established it in 1884 in Leeds. In the present time, company has 959 stores in various parts of United Kingdom amid which 615 sell only food products. Marks & Spencer had 10,373 million pound as revenue in 2019 and has 80,787 employees (Angeles, 2016). The company has quality, service, trust, value and innovation in its core values.

Analysis of external environment for Marks and Spencer strategic management
The external environment of an organisation involves all the external factors such as economic, technological and others which effect on the activities and strategies of an organization. PESTLE analysis refers as a tool which can be used for assessing the external environment of an organization with its six features that are political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental (Perera, 2017). PESTLE analysis of Marks and Spencer is given below:

Marks and Spencer strategic management

  1. Political factors: this factor encompasses the policies designed by the government that are related to the trade, global market and the industry of the company which influence the operations of the organisation (Abbott, 2015). The free trade policies are one of the political factors which are influencing the functions of Marks & Spencer. The free trade policies are causing benefit to the company as it enables the company to have about 1500 stores in the countries other than UK (Sivalingam, 2018). The free trade policies have also cause reduction in the sourcing cost which is also beneficial for the organization. Brexit is also a political aspect which can affect business of Marks and Spencer. Due to the Brexit, Marks & Spencer can face various challenges in the international market by causing increasing cost of production. The Brexit can cause Marks & Spencer to raise the price of its product which can reduce the sale or profit of the company.
  2. Economic factors: This factor discussed in the study of Marks and Spencer strategic management encompasses the change in taxation, GDP, inflation rate and other factors which can influence the function of a company. Presently, the market of United Kingdom is shifting towards the small retail stores rather than giant one. It can cause harm to the company as it can reduce the customer base for the company (Kuusela, 2019). The budget stores are attracting the customer from the targeted market of Marks and Spencer which reduces profit of the organisation. In the other hand, the small retail store provides low markup price which enables Marks & Spencer to hold the premium status which is beneficial for the image of company.
  3. Social factors: Marks and Spencer are among the most preferred retailers between the customers of United Kingdom and world. The company is about 135-year-old because of which it is not able to attract the youth of market (Sivalingam, 2018). The company has lost many customers of young generation. However, the company is selling ready meals as a strategy for counterfeiting this perception of people. The implementation of this Marks and Spencer strategic management approach has enhanced the consumption of ready meals in the country and world. In the current time, the organisation is among the leading provider of ready meal in United Kingdom.
  4. Technological factor: The revolution in technology along with the adaption of new technology is few technological factors which influence the operations of a company (Newton, 2014). In this modern era, the retail stores are also altering and adapting the new technology. The impact of advancement in technology in retail sector can be seen by the use of self-checkout system in the retail stores. In order to implement the Marks and Spencer strategic management strategy effectively, the company has also introduced self-checkout systems in its various stores. The company is also planning to enhance the use of Artificial Intelligence based checkout system in the upcoming time. The e-commerce is also an outcome of technology which highly influences the retail sector. Marks & Spencer has also established ecommerce stores which have provided competitive gain to the organization. It has also increased the sale of its products. With this method the company has also save the time of customers. The implementation of new technology in the retail organisation provides a strong presence to the company in market.
  5. Legal factors: This factor undertaken by Marks and Spencer strategic management encompasses the legislations and protocols that can influence the functions of a company. Marks and Spencer have faced various disputes in the market which influence the brand image of the company. The Frascati Landlord is among such disputes which has caused negative impression on the existence of Marks & Spencer (Kuusela, 2019). Beside of these disputes, change in the trade laws of UK is also an aspect which can affect the process of this establishment. With the advent of Brexit, United Kingdom will face variations in the trade laws which impact hugely the processes of Marks & Spencer. Presently, the corporation is not able to design any strategy regarding the impact of change in trade laws on its operations.
  6. Environmental factors: These are the regulation of the concerning bodies regarding the safety of environment which influence the function of a company. Marks & Spencer is promoting itself as a luxury brand because of which the company is also focusing on the impact of its operation on the environment. The company has adapted the idea of sustainability in its functions and also become careful regarding the process of production. For reducing the plastic waste, Marks & Spencer is using paper bags and leaves for the packaging of products (Bocken, 2017). Marks & Spencer also source milk from the dairy farms that are RSPCA assured. Beside of this, the company is also focusing on production of the sustainable and environmentally friendly products.

The analysis of value chain of Marks & Spencer
The value chain analysis initiated by Marks and Spencer strategic management refers as the strategic tools which are used for identifying the activities close and in the company, which lead it to the generation of product (Mudambi and Puck, 2016). The value chain analysis of Marks and Spencer is as follows:

  1. Inbound logistics: This factor involves the storage, delivery and transportation of resources into the company. Marks and Spencer have won the GBS supply chain award due to employment of supply chain which is truthfully disruptive. Marks & Spencer has designed 180 targets that are related to the supply chain. The company has also provided financial incentives to the team who is able to achieve these targets. These targets involve energy efficiency, sustainable sourcing and ethical trade. Such strategies help the Marks & Spencer to become the most sustainable retailer of world. Beside of this, the organization has also abridged its previous reliance on the full-service vendors. This strategy enables the company to have additional corporate control on the supply chain of it. The company is sourcing about 65% of the inventory from the direct vendors.
  2. Operations: Marks and Spencer strategic management approach make investment in gathering of the sub brands, for improving the instore experience of customers and in-store bakeries. It helps the company to fulfill the changing requirement of customers. The company has its focus on improving the experience of customers. As per the Escoda (2018), there is an increase in the visits of customers and improvement in the instore experience of the customers. The company provides reward and training to its employees for enhancing the experience of customers. Although the company has faced various hurdles in managing its online operations which results in the reduction of sales by 2% on its website (Wilson, 2016). Marks & Spencer is also investing in its IT system for the upgradation so that it can improve the management of supply chain. The company has also faced glitch due to the leakage of the personal details of 800 online customers. Although the company claimed that there will be no leak of financial data which signifies the lack of control on the IT system of company.
  3. Outbound logistics: This factor is connected to the storage, circulation and collection of the product to the consumers. The company provides both instore shopping and shopping from home to the customers. Beside of this, Marks & Spencer is also providing click and collect options and online shopping for the convenience to its customers. Marks & Spencer constantly investing on its warehousing and also acquire new ware houses as per the requirement of the organization. Marks and Spencer also have automated stores which act as the National Distribution Centre for home business and clothing (Scott and Walker, 2017). The organization has also its focus on performing merger of smaller warehouse for increasing the efficiency of distribution and supply chain.
  4. Marketing and Sales: With the help of marketing and sales in regards with Marks and Spencer strategic management, an organization provides awareness of its product among the customers along with convincing the customers for purchasing the product. Marks & Spencer has a digital division in which the labs of company works with the slender start up technology for improving the experience of shopping to the customers. The multi-channel experience let consumers to impeccably shop through online, mobile, in store or catalogue. As per the Wilson (2016), in the present, the customers still prefer shopping from store instead of online shopping. There is an increase in the customer engagement by digital experience. Marks & Spencer also focuses on the high influence promotions by using the consumer loyalty data for enhancing value for the customers.
  5. Service: The service in value chain analysis involves every activity which would improve or maintain the value of product. Marks & Spencer focuses on providing efficient customer services for maintain the loyalty of customers. The company has made its priority to maximize the availability of its products and increasing the swiftness of delivery to the consumers (Toms and Zhang, 2016). The company has also started the free delivery service to the customers for the order more than £50 along with the free return policy. The Marks and Spencer strategic management is also focusing on enhancing the area of food halls along by reclaiming part from the fashion and clothing.

Analysis of the internal environment
SWOT analysis is an effective way of analyzing the internal environment of a company by evaluating the four factors that are strengths, weakness, opportunity and threat (Gürel and Tat, 2017). For an effective Marks and Spencer strategic management approach, SWOT analysis is also considered as an essential aspect. SWOT analysis of Marks and Spencer is as follows:

Marks and Spencer strategic management

Following are strengths of this company:

  • The company is highly recognized in the marketplace which is a major forte of it.
  • Marks and Spencer have high brand value and high preference among the customers.
  • The organisation sells a wide array of products such as groceries, home products, clothing, life style, food products and others.
  • The company provide both in store and online shopping to the customers.
  • Marks & Spencer has more than 1200 suppliers of vegetables and foods that provide 400 distinct varieties of fruits and vegetables to the company (Eisenberg, 2019).
  • The large number of outlets and stores is also strength of the company.

Following are weaknesses of this company:

  • Among the young generation, the company has an image of a non-trendy store which reduces its sale among young customers.
  • The company is mainly using old techniques instead of the new techniques which increase the cost and time.
  • The high reliance of the company on the market of United Kingdom has made the company susceptible to the market.
  • The frequent product recall is also a weakness which results into losing the confidence of customers.

Following are opportunities of this company:

  • The company can enhance its global presence in the countries of Asia.
  • The company can also use the method of market segmentation for increasing its branches in the different places.
  • The company can also increase its online presence for improving its position in the market (Jin, et al., 2018).
  • Marks & Spencer can also reform its fashion segment.
  • The one more chance which Marks and Spencer can use is the simplification of its operating model.

Following are threats tend to be encountered while initiating Marks and Spencer strategic management:

  • The major threat which is faced by Marks & Spencer is the increasing competition in the markets. Beside of large retail brands like Sainsbury and Tesco, the company is also facing competition from the budget retail stores.
  • The devaluation in the worth of Sterling in the Post Brexit has also become a threat for Marks and Spencer.
  • Marks and Spencer is also facing threat because of the change in the fashion trends of industry.

Analysis of Porter’s five force
The framework of the Porter’s five forces refers as a tool to analyze the competition of an organisation (Lewis, 2017). The Porter’s five forces for Marks and Spencer strategic management are as follows:

  • Threat of new entrants: the retail sectors have very high barriers for entry because of the requirement of huge capital investments for entering into the market. For any new entrant, it is very difficult to gain the economies of scale and cost efficiencies that are similar to Marks & Spencer. The company has its focus on the quality and brand image because of which it is nearly impossible for any new retail company to reduce the customer loyalty of Marks & Spencer. In case of channel efficiency, Marks & Spencer does not have any threat from the new entrants. Although it is also very difficult to manage peers at the bay event though Marks & Spencer has advantage of high quality of products (Jones and Comfort, 2018). The discount offer by the competitors can effect on the customer base of Marks and Spencer. Therefore, the impact of this force on Marks and Spencer strategic management is medium.
  • Threat of the substitute products: Marks & Spencer need constant innovation for maintain the strength of its brand positioning and remaining distinctive for meeting the requirement of customers. There are number of substitutes present for the clothing product of Marks & Spencer. It is very easy for other companies to copy the design and sale it as the low cost. The food products of the company are separately facing threat by big stores like Tesco and Sainsbury. Therefore, the impact of this force on Marks & Spencer is high.
  • Bargaining powers of customers: The bargaining power of the customers is substantial for the company. The customers in retail sector are price sensitive. In the retail industry, the switching cost for customers is very low and the presence of alternatives is high. Marks & Spencer is required to develop its loyalty along with offering the customer unmatched value (Zokaei, et al., 2017). In the perception of customers, Marks and Spencer is also vulnerable to the negative shifts. Therefore, the impact of this force on the Marks & Spencer is high.
  • Bartering power of the supplier: previously. Marks and Spencer only have Britishers as primary suppliers but now, the company is outsourcing the resources and products. Marks & Spencer also focuses on the private labels. Therefore, the impact of this force for Marks & Spencer is low.
  • Intensity of the competitive rivalry: in the retail sector, every organisation is facing high competition from other super markets. Every large super market chain in the globe provides variety of products to the customers like clothing, food, fashion and others. With the advancement of technology, the companies are also facing competition in the online segment. It is less costly for the users in compare to the in-store shopping. In other words, presently, Marks & Spencer is facing competition not only with the in store retail companies but also in the ecommerce market (Angeles, 2016). Although, the company has set up the online sales for gaining competitive advantage. Marks & Spencer also offers services like membership card for gaining the loyalty of customers. Marks & Spencer is facing rivalry with the other leading merchandizing organization like Tesco, Sainsbury and ASDA along with the local and budget retail shops. Therefore, the impact of this force on Marks & Spencer is high.

Recommendations on the Marks and Spencer strategic management
Marks & Spencer is one of the leading retails organization of world and has sustain various changes of the business environment. With the implementation of effective strategies, Marks & Spencer has able to sustain the changes and maintain its business. Beside of these strategies, the company is facing certain issues that are causing hurdle in the operations of the company. The company can improve its efficiency by implementation of following recommendations within the Marks and Spencer strategic management:

  • In this era of technical advancement, Marks & Spencer has also implemented technological changes in the workplace such as self-checkout system. Although, the company has also faced issue of leakage of personal data of its customers. Therefore, company is required to improve its IT platform by using proper security applications like firewall and others.
  • Marks & Spencer is also facing the issue of improving brand image among the young customers. For overcoming this scenario, the company can implement new strategy for attracting the young customers. Marks & Spencer is required to change the line of its clothing and fashion products with the trends so that it can attract the customers of young age.
  • Marks & Spencer is also facing competition from the budget retail stores because of which the company has faced reduction in the customer base. For managing this hurdle, the company is required to retain the loyalty of customers by attracting them with offering sales and discounts. With this method, Marks & Spencer will be able to reduce the impact of competition from the budget retail stores along with the major competitors of the company.
  • The change in trade laws due to the Brexit can influence the processes of Marks & Spencer. In the current time, the company has not evaluated any impact of change in the trade laws on its functions and profits. Marks & Spencer is required to assess the impact of change in both positive and negative manner on the company so that it can devise the strategies accordingly for managing the upcoming change.
  • Marks & Spencer is also need to adapt modern technology in its operations such as ware housing and others. It can save the cost and time for the company which is beneficial for its growth. For the adaption of modern technology, the company is also need to provide training to its workforce.

Marks and Spencer strategic management encompasses the planning, monitoring and analysis of various operations of the company. It enables an organisation to assess its internal and external environment along with the strategies so that the effectiveness of its strategies can be managed easily. This report has illustrated the Marks and Spencer strategic management which has one of the largest chains of retail stores not only in UK but also in the world. The PESTLE analysis has shown the analysis of external environment and SWOT analysis has shown the internal environment of the company. this report ahs also shed light on the value chain analysis and porter’s five force analysis of Marks and Spencer. These analyses have shown the milieu of the company along with the strategies that has devised by the management of the organisation for managing change and achieving the growth of its objective. The conclusion that can be drawn from this assignment is the various theories and framework of Marks and Spencer strategic management can provide the evaluation of strategies and business environment of the company.

Abbott, R.J., 2015. Marks and Spencer strategic management Pestle Analysis for Students.

Angeles, R., 2016. Marks & Spencer’s RFID Initiative: Laying the Foundation for Omnichannel Retailing. In Digitally Supported Innovation (pp. 193-206). Springer, Cham.

Ansoff, H.I., Kipley, D., Lewis, A.O., Helm-Stevens, R. and Ansoff, R., 2018. Implanting strategic management. Springer.

Bocken, N., 2017. Business-led sustainable consumption initiatives: Impacts and lessons learned. Journal of Management Development, 36(1), pp.81-96.

Eisenberg, P., 2019. Financial Analysis of Primark Stores Ltd. with regard to a Stock Exchange Floatation (IPO). International Journal of Management, 7(1), pp.91-112.

Escoda, R., 2018. Management Case Study Amazon. Analysis and Decision Making. GRIN Verlag.

Gürel, E. and Tat, M., 2017. SWOT analysis: A theoretical review. Marks and Spencer strategic management Journal of International Social Research, 10(51).

Jin, H., Miao, Y. and Park, S.T., 2018. A Case Study of Marks and Spencer lost China. Journal of Industrial Convergence, 16(2), pp.15-23.

Jones, P. and Comfort, D., 2018. Storytelling and Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Case Study of Leading UK Retailers. European Journal of Sustainable Development Research, 2(4), pp.1-11.

Kuusela, E., 2019. Sustainability trends effecting modern business practices.

Lewis, R., 2017. Porter's Five Forces of competitive advantage.

Mudambi, R. and Puck, J., 2016. A global value chain analysis of the ‘regional strategy’perspective. Journal of Management Studies, 53(6), pp.1076-1093.

Newton, P., 2014. What is the PESTLE Analysis?. Number, K.(2013). THE AIMS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

Perera, R., 2017. The PESTLE analysis. Marks and Spencer strategic management Nerdynaut.

Rothaermel, F.T., 2017. Strategic management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Scott, P. and Walker, J.T., 2017. Marks and Spencer strategic management Barriers to ‘industrialisation’for interwar British retailing? The case of Marks & Spencer Ltd. Business History, 59(2), pp.179-201.

Sivalingam, R., 2018. Strategic Management. Industry Analysis, Strategic Drift and Re-Strategizing. GRIN Verlag.

Toms, S. and Zhang, Q., 2016. Marks & Spencer and the decline of the British textile industry, 1950–2000. Marks and Spencer strategic management Business history review, 90(1), pp.3-30.

Wilson, D., 2016. Marks & Spencer: the quest to master the new millennium. The Business & Management Collection.

Zokaei, K., Lovins, H., Wood, A. and Hines, P., 2017. Creating a lean and green business system: techniques for improving profits and sustainability. Marks and Spencer strategic management Productivity Press.


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