The group's merchandise includes clothes, household goods and food sales, with their clothing line contributing half the revenues. It has also diversified into financial services that include accounts cards, pensions, loans, and life assurance and contributes about 5% of its total revenues. Marks and Spencer divides its operation as UK retail, International retail and financial services.
The UK Retail division is its major chunk of the business and contributes the most to the turnover. It sells Women's wear, Men's wear, Lingerie, Children's wear, Beauty products, Household goods, and groceries. The International Retail business prevailed from Europe to North America to the Far East a well. The Financial services division offers personal insurance, personal loans and store cards.
Until the late 1990's Marks & Spencer was largely successful and recorded highest profit growth in the years, 1997 and 1998. In 2000, Marks and Spencer launched lingerie outlets in Paris, Hamburg and Dusseldorf that met with considerable success. It is a leading seller of lingerie in the UK with a 20% market share.
However, Marks and Spencer had a slump, plagued by external and internal problems. Marks and Spencer business model was to maintain UK sourcing for its products, ensuring a perceived high value for the customer. Consequently when competitive retailers sourced from low cost Asian suppliers, Marks & Spencer found its core business model a great liability and it had to succumb to the trend. Product quality deteriorated and customer dissatisfaction caused it to lose a lot of its base. It also was faring badly in the International arena, due to its lack of direct control on its franchises. At the same time, it also ignored employee feedback and was a bureaucratic company. This reflected it being unaware to changing trends and fell way behind on delivering the customer on their needs.
In 2001, the company sold off loss making stores, decentralized operations and catered to customer preferences. It sourced from low cost suppliers but put it quality control measures. By 2003, Marks & Spencer rebounded and had recovered its financial health. Sales increased and the company had increased its market share. Although on its growth path again, the company has lost considerable market share. It needs a sound marketing plan, to scale the heights of its former glory.
Source from website < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marks_&_Spencer>
Political: The political government is stable conditions are stable and there are no major legislations that affect the operational capabilities. Environmental concerns are increasing and these may bring legislations that may enforce stricter control that may affect the stores in the long term. Advent of other legislations like minimum wage changes, labelling, licensing etc. may affect operation in the long term.
Economical: The European Union and the Euro may contribute to better purchasing power