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An Analysis of Marks and SpencerINTRODUCTION TO THE FIRM AND ITS INDUSTRYMarks and Spencer is one of the largest retailers in the United Kingdom, and is also known as a majorretailer selling diverse product ranges under their own exclusive brand in more than thirty countries. Customer confidence in the Marks and Spencer brand remains second to none. According to recentresearch undertaken by the Company, it shows that, in clothing, Mark and Spencer has a clear lead over allits major competitors in the key areas of fit, quality, trust, breadth of range and customer service.In November of 2000, Marks and Spencer will launch a trial of three new lingerie-only outlets in Paris,Hamburg and Dusseldorf. According to industry statistics, Marks & Spencer remains the clear leader in theUK lingerie market, with overthirty percent of the market share. These pilot stores, distinctly branded 'msl', are designed to showcase theproduct range, taking the very best of Marks & Spencer lingerie to the Continent. Moreover, twenty-fivepercent of the 'msl' range hasbeen designed exclusively for the continental market (Marks & Spencer PG).According to David Norgrove, Marks & Spencer Executive Director, the new stores developed by Marksand Spencer "clearly show how we can give customers what they want in the way they want it. Today wehave both depth of product and a variety of retail formats, so that we can encompass factory outlet stores anddesigner clothing under the Marks & Spencer brand. Our new concept stores carry a wide range ofproducts and services tailor-made for its local customers but, at the same time, we are also launching theEuropean pilot of a specialist retail format which builds on our core strength in lingerie. All of these productsand formats are being in response to customer research, to meet a proven need" (Marks & Spencer PG).THE COMPETITIVE STRUCTURE OF THE INDUSTRYThe British retailer Marks & Spence decided to close its one Edmonton store, along with fourteen othersacross Canada, with the eight remaining stores being closed just one month later. This marked the ending ofMarks and Spencer's 26-year run in Canada.The chain announced its Canadian pullout, which will affect only sixteen staff, was a surprise for Canadianshoppers. Heritage Mall manager Kirby Nishikawa said "the shutdown hurts the shopping center." (Le Riche,44, 1999).