Marks & Spencer’s retail roots can be traced back to the opening of its first operation in Penny Bazaar located at the Leeds Kirkgate market in 1884 (Marks & Spencer, 2014a). Leading up towards more than a century of business, the name M&S is more than just a retail outlet…
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However, the company has reported a decline in sales in the current year with a significant reduction of 8.1% in purchases that are made through online mediums (Ahmed, 2014).
Even though, the brand name and customer loyalty which is linked with M&S has survived and even grown tremendously over a significant period, the company’s financial woes and slumping sales have emerged as a cause of concern for the management and shareholders. As reported by Rankin (2014) the company’s homeware and clothing divisions have been marked by the demonstration of disappointment monetary performances over a period of the past twelve financial quarters. Despite of the commitment shown by CEO Marc Bolland that revival would come soon enough, the company’s woes which have recently been maximized because of a serious website error and related technical issues continue to grow (Ahmed, 2014). Moreover, competitive concerns from local brands like Primark and international heavyweights like Zara postulate that the company may have to experience challenges in terms of exploring more viable opportunities in the clothing division (Ruddick, 2012).
This research aims to aid the development of a critical assessment and analysis of Marks and Spencer’s micro and macro economic situation for the purpose of evaluating the future prospects and options which are available for the company to successfully and effectively cope with present issues.
The framework or model of a SWOT analysis is an imperative component in assessing and examining the internal and external issues and prospects within a firm. As noted by Hill and Westbrook (1997), the application of SWOT analysis can aid companies in decision making procedures and aid the development of long term corporate planning to meet the specific requirements which have been outlined by the designated objectives at corporate, business, operational and tactical
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