Case Questions for Marks and Spencer Spring - The venerable British retailer Marks Spencer suffered a series of setbacks in the late 1990s The company's

Case Questions for Marks and Spencer Spring - The venerable...

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The venerable British retailer Marks & Spencer suffered a series of setbacks in the late 1990s. The company's performance, which had been solid for decades, quickly deteriorated, forcing the rapid turnover of chief executives and many restructurings. Perhaps the largest change the retailer made was the abandonment of its global expansion plans, withdrawing from continental Europe and trying to sell off assets in the United States, including the well-known clothiers Brooks Brothers (Burgleman and Meza 2001)Globalization and M&SMarks and Spencer was once the most admired of British retailers. The profitability of the British retail sector in the 1980s and 1990s was the envy of the world. There were many explanations some of which are none too flattering such as collusion over prices and artificial barriers to new store development by competitors, but in general the view was that the British had managed the phenomenon of own branding better than their international rivals. Retailers selling products under their own names tend to position them on price and as bargains. (Chun et al., 2003).Food was sold but the offer was somewhat different from that today, including for example substantial sales of broken Kit Kat biscuits, a leading brand of chocolate wafer from confectionery manufacturer Rowntree. Simon Marks in particular seemed unconvinced that food held much of a future for Marks and Spencer nevertheless a food development department had been created. What has become known as a human relations policy at Marks and Spencer dates to the 1930s. A personnel department began in 1933 and a welfare department in 1934 whose role extended to the well-being of previous employees (Drucker 2003). Employees today enjoy subsidized meals, services such as hairdressing and chiropody, discount schemes, and a profit

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