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The company has had a substantial share of fortunes since its establishment as a partnership between Thomas Spencer and Michael Marks in 1884 (Kirk & Tyson 1997; Rees 1969; Tse 1985). It has come to have a workforce of well over 60000 globally; a feat that is only achievable when there has been good and consistent expansion programmes in place (Beaver 1999, pp. 325-334). The company grew steadily for a century after which turbulent times emerged that saw its market share drop drastically in the 1990s and subsequent reduction in profitability.
The world had become a more competitive market place and Marks and Spencer had lagged in this realisation. The situation in the later quarter of the 1990s saw the company running out of vigour in regards to its turnover, profitability and market dominance. In the turn of the century the company announced the lowest profit in its history and the lowest basic earnings per share i.e. 145 million pounds pre tax profit and zero basic earnings per share (Bevan 2001).
With the drastic fall in profits and the low market confidence culminating into huge shedding of its share price, the management had to have a plan to steer the once market giant back to its long lost glory (Bevan 2001). Many changes in the management had to be initiated and this was no doubt a daunting task for the management and the staff alike. As it is well known that it takes quite a short time and less effort to destroy or lead to decline but to rise again to the top takes a great deal more effort, resources and time. These are the factors that the Marks and Spencer management has to put in mind in formulating the turn around strategy and planning on its implementation.
Marks and Spencer in the early 2000 made a big change in its brand aiming at having a new corporate image. The new changes were to be spearheaded by Luc Vandevelde as the new chairman aged 48 years. The starting point for Vandevelde was
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