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留学生作业: M&S'Operations Management Report

Operations Management Report

1.0 Introduction

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is leading British retailer of clothing, food, homeware and financial services with over 895 stores in more than 40 territories around the world. (Marks & Spencer-UK Stores, 2009) During those glory days, M&S experienced a wrenching time which has become particularly vulnerable in its core customer base-women aged between 35 and 55. Its profit margins seemed to be untenable and the loyalty of its customers was also severely eroded in 1998. Besides, as rival retailers continuously sourcing their materials from low-cost countries, the increasing cost of using British suppliers exerted a burden on M&S, but M&S was rather slow to switch to overseas suppliers. These combined factors pushed M&S into a wrenching time. The clothing sector represents a large proportion of the UK retail turnover and poor performance will result in a negative effect on its profit in this area. In recent years, M&S has been struggling and rebranding to regain its reputation. With reference to the strategic review of M&S, the UK retail management team developed an operational plan to built up the strengths of M&S and exploit new growth opportunities which concentrating on improving its product appeal, availability and value to rebuild relationships with the core customer base-womenswear. Based on the case study of Marks& Spencer, this paper will make an illustration on three M&S clothing ranges, namely Perfect and Classic ranges, Autograph range and per una range through analyzing three questions.

2.0 Question One

As customers become more interested in quality and design, shoppers are opting for higher-priced items (Wheatcroft & Patience, 2000). In order to regain the loyalty of its core customers, M&S has to concentrate on designing and supplying a collection for the fashion conscious woman apart from classically stylish clothes. The range Per una is “ring fenced” within the M&S system which can be produced to a different standard. The Autograph, another range was created by top designers in order to offer fashion items at High Street. M&S also planned to recover the confidence of its customers by emphasizing the quality and fit of its clothing. A number of ranges and sub-brands are introduced to appeal to different lifestyles, including The Perfect Collection and The Classic Collection, apart from per una and The Autograph.
In order to satisfy different customer needs, the three M&S ranges are designed with different aims. The Perfect Collection concentrates on core customers for classically stylish merchandise, including plain, white shirts, black roll-neck sweaters and jeans for women and men. These basics with many items machine washable, non-iron and tumble-dry friendly, are aimed at the customer who has a busy lifestyle and looks for quality and value with a reasonable price. The Classic Collection is aimed at more mature customer who pays more concentrations on design, comfort, long-lasting style and versatility of the products. The core of The Classic Collection is designed to ensure that every piece favors the natural body shape with different sizes. The Autograph range created by top designers, is aimed at offering fashion items at High Street prices which bring unique and exclusive designs to M&S customers. The Autograph range belongs to top designer collections. After his innovative designs and methods, Davies made a subsequent success in developing the George range of clothing at Asda supermarkets whose sub-brand was labeled Per una. Per una, the high quality range is aimed to provide superb designs at very affordable prices whose target customers are fashion conscious women aged between 25 and 35, sizes 8-18.

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