Case Study Of The Internationalization Of Marks And Spencer

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This case study describes the internationalization of Marks & Spencer (M&S), a giant British retailer. In recent years, the company has suffered a series of misfortunes, both at home (Britain) and abroad. Company sales have dropped, stock prices and market capitalization were substantially reduced, and overseas profits have declined. In January 1999, following a terrible earning announcement, the company announced that it had formed a marketing department, forcing the company to become more proactive and market driven. To head the department, M&S promoted James Benfield, a 17 year veteran of the retailing giant who worked as a former head of menswear, home furnishings, and direct mail. For years, M&S’ marketing philosophy was simple: produce high quality products under a recognized brand name at affordable (but not cheap) prices, and advertise through word-of-mouth. However, in recent years, this marketing philosophy has come under attack as the company started loosing its competitive stance. The move to develop a marketing department was a departure from a long tradition of production/manufacturing emphasis. The problem facing James Benfield: how can M&S emerge from the slump and reposition itself as a fierce global competitor in the international marketplace? BRIEF BACKGROUND ON COMPANY Marks and Spencer 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.

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