mark and spencer - Background of the Company Marks and...

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Background of the Company Marks and Spencer (M&S) of Britain (often referred to as Marks & Sparks by locals) is a general retailer that sells clothes, gifts, home furnishings, and foods under the St. Michael trademark in the UK, Europe, the Americas and Far East. The company also operates financial services segment, which accounted for about 3% of the company’s 1998 profits (Dow Jones Industrial 1999) Marks & Spencer started as a stall in 1884 by Michael Marks in the Leads market using an L5 loan from a wholesaler Its philosophy is to sell durable merchandise at a moderate price. It has merchandise made to its specifications. By 1901, the company acquired 35 Outlets as well as a new partner, Tom Spencer By 1949 all the company’s stores carried mostly private label (St. Michael) products produced by British suppliers (De Nardi-Cole 1998). Case Background Britain has often been called a country of shopkeepers, and Marks & Spencer (M&S) is undoubtedly the shop keeping leader With nearly 300 stores in the United Kingdom, M&S is the country’s largest retailer : it holds 17 percent of the UK clothing market Its marble arch store in London is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the store that takes in more revenue per square foot than any other in the world Soft goods (clothes and household textiles) account for about 58 percent of the company’s sales and food lines account for about 42 percent The goods are perceived as having excellent value, quality, so there is a little need to discount prices for sales Because M & S is so well known, it spends little on advertising, decorates its stores austerely, offers very little personal service and provides no dressing rooms or public
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mark and spencer - Background of the Company Marks and...

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