Introduction: The overall clothing and fashion sector or industry is witnessing high and intense competition on part of the increasing technological changes and globalisation. The fashion retailers all over the world are trying to come up with effective and efficient strategies which will allow them to come up with strong competitive position against the other competitors in the industry (Pretious & Love, 2006)…
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The report outlines and explains the different measures and steps taken by the management of Marks and Spencer (M&S) to change the clothing business and supply chain strategy in order to remain competitive in the industry. Changes made by Marks and Spencer (M&S) in its Clothing Business to enhance its Competitiveness: Marks and Spencer (M&S) is a big name in the UK clothing retail industry. The company has been providing the customers with high quality products at competitive prices. Marks and Spencer (M&S) made record profits until year 1998 and expanded into different international markets (Davies, 1999). However, in 1998 the company faced increasing issues and challenges which resulted in negatively affecting the performance of the organisation and hence the organisation started showing negative results (Christopher and Peck, 2001). The main reason behind these negative outcomes was the long supply chain which decreased the responsiveness of the company (Harrison and Pavitt, 2001; Mellahi, Jackson, & Sparks, 2002). However, the management of Marks and Spencer (M&S) analysed and explored the situation and came up with several changes not only in operational practices but also in its overall clothing business in order to increase the competitiveness in the market. On one hand the company focused on reshaping and redesigning its supply chain order to make sure that the customers are provided with clothes on time according to the changing needs and trends in the market. On the other hand the management of Marks and Spencer (M&S) worked on improving and updating the clothing segment according to the changing requirements and preferences of the customers (Burt, Mellahi, Jackson, & Sparks, 2002). The management of the company came up with different clothing brand lines in order to cater to the needs and requirements of different sets of target customers. As a result the company introduced different brands for its clothing business namely: per una, The Autograph, The Perfect Collection, The Classic Collection, Indigo Collection, Blue Harbour, and several other (Harrison and Pavitt, 2001). The management of Marks and Spencer (M&S) came up with different brand identities and positioning statements for its different clothing brands and collections keeping in view the different requirements and needs of the targeted customer segments. This in turn allowed the company to increase the overall sales and enhance the growth and performance. Marks and Spencer (M&S) has learned from its initial mistakes and now is monitoring the marketing trends closely in order to respond to the changes on timely basis with effective and efficient strategies. Due to the increasing competition in the clothing retail industry, the company is facing increasing competition in street retailing from the other clothing retailers in the market like Zara and Primak and for this reason the management of Marks and Spencer (M&S) is spending heavy amount to survive and win in the war of street retailing (Ruddick, 2012). On the other hand the management of Marks and Spencer (M&S) is looking for other channels to reach the customers including e-commerce and m-commerce. For instance, the company has also provided the customers with the facility of the online
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