SWOT analysis of Marks and Spencers

SWOT analysis shows the internal business in terms of strengths and weakness of an organisation, opportunities and threats of the external business. SWOT analysis is meant to spark the strategic ray and to calculate the facts and figures which help for the strategic planning (Mintzberg 1994).This research shows the SWOT analysis of the Marks and Spencer’s to analyze the current situation and to implement the strategies to give a tough competition to its competitors by 2030.

STRENGTHS:

Marks and Spencer has many strengths but this research focuses mainly on the brand value of the organisation and wide range of products and different outlets which help to grow the business and the range it delivered to the public.

High recognition of the brand : Marks and Spencer’s is the giant of the UK’s high street is known by everyone in the market for the quality it is providing in the past years. The brand value is high as the customers who go to the high street prefer to go to Marks and Spencer’s as they can finish the whole shopping in a go.

Wide variety of products: Marks and Spencer’s had a variety of products in every store which helps the customers to choose the best, for example if we take vegetables , Marks and Spencer’s began to sell the vegetables and fruits over 40 years ago, they started selling fruits and vegetables such as Canary tomatoes , avocados and English apples , carrots . and Marks and spencers always relied on the farmers with good relationship from where they are able to increase the variety of products. Back in 1970’s Marks and Spencer’s persuaded small growers of strawberries to drive their crop straight to local marks and Spencer’s stores. To find the perfect taste of the customers Marks and Spencer’s spend more than three years on testing and tasting the strawberries before launching marks and Spencer’s jubilee Strawberry in summer 2003. At the moment Marks and Spencer’s has more than 1200 suppliers with over 400 different varieties, as well as 500 different types of pre prepared fruits, vegetables and salads.( Marks and Spencer 2010) Where the other super markets fail to produce wide variety of products , which indirectly helps Marks and Spencer’s .

Large number of stores and outlets: M arks and Spencer the giant in the uks high street history has about 900 stores all over the world with 600 stores in the Uk and above 300 in over 40 countries (Marks and Spencer, 2010). The numbers clearly say that large number of stores and outlets make the business wider and the sales even increase due to the wide range of products that Marks and Spencer has. If the stores and outlets increases the strength of Marks and Spencer goes high day by day, as it can be available to all the commodities of the people for reasonable cost and good quality.

Popular designer brands: M arks and Spencer has wide range of brands which really help the organisation. For example men’s wear has wide range of brands such as “autograph, Big&tall, Blue harbour, Collezione, North coast etc” (Marks and Spencer, 2010). Coming to women brands Marks and Spencer has different brands such as “Autograph, Classic, Indigo collection, Limited collection, Per Una, Portfolio, etc”( marks and Spencer 2010). Due to the wide range of brands the business of the organisation goes strength by strength

WEAKNESS: Marks and Spencer even had some weakness as the other organisations had; this research mainly focuses on weaknesses of Marks and Spencer and the strategies the organisation need to follow to overcome the situation.

Bad publicity as non trendy store: Marks and Spencer has a draw back in the market as the organisation is out fashioned and non trendy. Even though Marks and Spencer has wide range of products and different brands the general people has a wrong assumption that men’s wear and women’s wear are only for the aged people not for the teenagers and young people. These wrong assumptions are making the business low. The management should develop new strategies to focus on the sales for the young people. Even the management failed in the past years to attract the new customers, the people who had trust on Marks and Spencer from the past years still shop but the new generations are not at all interested. Some people say that Marks and Spencer is a shop for sixties and seventies but not for twenties and thirties. To overcome this management of Marks and Spencer’s need to come with a new strategy to attract all the age limits not losing its reputation with the present followers and they even need to develop a strategy to overcome from the bad publicity and to give great competition to its competitors such as Primark, Next, River island, oasis, Oxygen, New look, H&M etc.

Manual working increases the costs: Marks and Spencer’s had a backdrop of following old techniques rather than following the new techniques which increase the different aspects such as money, time etc. But in general the big organisations are keeping a focus on the new technologies for the efficiency of the work done. Now a day’s the organisations are preferring for both mechanized and automated material handling alternatives for various types of logistic operations. Most of these technologies help to increase the productivity in less span of time but the main drawback of Marks and Spencer is not utilising the technology for effective use the manual work increases the cost and reduces the work efficiency it is recommended to Marks and Spencer to use the new techniques instead of increasing the manual hours and manual costs for trading. It’s just matter of time and planning to overcome this obstacle. There is no doubt that manual working increases cost.

OPPORTUNITIES:

INTERNALIZATION-increasing the global presence: Marks and Spencer was stabilized in UK and even it started number of stores all over the world in the 1940s.the company started trading most of its services using St.Michael brands. Using St.Michael brand the company started exported about $1,146,000 worth of merchandise. Marks and Spencer’s early internalisation was mostly due to domestic factors. After some dramatic changes it is clear that the expansion of the market have to come from the overseas. Labour party members were suggesting nationalising for the leading domestic retailers ( De Nardicole 1998). Internationalization was therefore seen as a tool that diverts everything from the market on the local basis. Due to the export business only few international franchising relationships are made. Importers of the St. Michael brand , who were familiar with the success of the brand in their countries started investing in the business of Marks and Spencer . In the early 90s St Michael franchises were operating a good business in 14 different economies. By 1996 Marks and Spencer’s has 645 outlets worldwide, among these 645 outlets 58% of the shares were in UK, Europe and Canada.(De Nardi-cole 1998) . The picture has changed since then at the moment Marks and Spencer has about 70,000 employees in 900 stores all over the world with above 300 stores worldwide and 600 stores in the UK. Marks and Spencer has above 21 million visiting customers per week (Marks and Spencer, 2010). In general Retailers take relatively less risk to enter the global market, Instead they start exporting and franchising their products globally. Marks and Spencer did the same thing back in 1950s but due to the significant raise in the demand by the consumer’s marks and Spencer can go ahead by increasing globally as it has significant purchasing power. Marks and Spencer can utilize various types of modes of entry around the world. Marks and Spencer can open its own stores around the world or through expanding the business through franchise agreements. Marks and Spencer has its own stores in Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Hong-Kong, Ireland, Spain and Netherlands. Marks and Spencer have the Franchise agreement with developing countries such as Bermuda, Canary Islands, The Bahamas, The Czech republic and Israel (De Naridi cole , 1998) the company started franchising in the countries who have smaller per capita income . Marks and Spencer started growing in south Asia from 2000 . Marks and Spencer had a franchise deal with a company called planet sport. According to the market basis it started the clothing and bath items only, the franchise owner VP.Sharma said to BBC that most of the goods in India are imported from Europe so The brand name of Marks and Spencer would help the business to grow rapidly. It is a good idea to increase the Franchise as Marks and Spencer has a good reputation all over the world and it origins from the land of costly brands. By taking Planet Sport as example Marks and Spencer’s has the chance of growing globally as it is recognised globally, The management need to take necessary steps to increase globally keeping in mind all the factors . The chance of growing increases only when Marks and Spencer’s is activated globally. A specific strategy need to be implemented by the management for the raise in the branches all over the world which will be a good sign for the organisation.

MARKET SEGMENTATION: Market Segmentation is defined as the process of splitting customers in a market into different groups within which customers share similar level of interests in the same or comparable set of needs satisfied by a distinct marketing proposition. Marks and Spencer has the opportunity to increase the technique of market segmentation by increasing its branches all over the places which will increase the business, in general marks and Spencer mainly have the mega stores all over the places but they dint concentrate on splitting the customers according to the area of interest. Sainsbury on other hand divided the customers by opening new stores called Sainsbury Local’s which increased the business. In the same way Marks and Spencer has the opportunity by dividing the customers by establishing small shops which will reduce the maintenance cost and increase the profits as the manual power will gradually decrease when compared to mega stores and even the investment on the publicity will be less , keeping in mind all the features it has the opportunity of spreading the business by market segmentation.

THREATS:

Increased competition in all areas of business: Marks and Spencer has the threat of losing its scope in the business due to the competition, the increased competition in the retailer sector is a big worry as the other retail competitors such as Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco are expanding themselves such as Sainsbury’s local and Tesco Express where as Marks and Spencer is still relaying on the mega stores, if the same thing goes on there is a risk of losing its reputation among the customers so it is recommended to increase the stores where they can increase the profits so the Management need to come with a new scenario to develop the risk management by increasing the stores. Marks and Spencer need to come with a strategy to overcome all the obstacles.