Strategic Management For Marks & Spencer Company

Strategic Management For Marks & Spencer Company


Marks & Spencer, also known as M & S is a company that was founded in 1884 and specializes in selling of home products, clothing and luxury food products. It is a major multinational retailer with its headquarters in London. The company has shown promising growth considering that it was the first ever British retailer to have over £ 1 billion in pre-tax profits. The company has established stores in different parts of the world with most being in the UK (852). It also has stores in India (52), Russia (37) and even France (14).

In the early 20th century, M &S made a name for itself when they created a policy of selling only British- made goods. The company also accepted return of unwanted items while giving a full refund as long as the customer produced a receipt. The return of items was accepted regardless of how long ago it had been purchased and this made their stores very popular since very few stores allowed such at that time. Over the years, M & S has continued to grow tremendously despite various challenges theta it has faced. In 2015, the company opened a supermarket in the most expensive shopping street in Amsterdam; Kalverstraat and a large clothing store in The Hague. In 2016, the company opened an even larger store in Amsterdam designed to have a direct underground connection to the new metro station. Its stores have increased in numbers in the international market and are expected to keep increasing (Grayson, 2011).

VRIN/ VRIO in Resources and Competence Analysis

The VRIN characteristics are used to determine the important features necessary for a resource to be deemed as strategically important (Bingham, 2008). These characteristics are:

  • Valuable- Resources should be able to bring value to the company in order for them to become a source of competitive advantage.
  • Rare- As much as a resource is of value, it must not also exist in competitor firms because it will not provide any competitive advantage. The resources have to be unique.
  • Inimitable- Resources will be a source of competitive advantage of competitor firms are unable to copy them hence cannot obtain them.
  • Non-substitutable- Resources should not be able to be replaced by others to implement the same strategy because then, they will not be a source of sustainable competitive advantage.

For the case of M&S, its VRIN can be analyzed using resources and competencies like human resources, technology development, infrastructure and marketing and sales among others.

Aspect V R I N Results
Human resources Yes Yes No No Temporary competitive advantage
Technology Yes No No No No competitive advantage
Inbound logistics Yes Yes No No Temporary competitive advantage
Outbound logistics Yes No No No No competitive advantage
Marketing and sales Yes Yes No No Temporary competitive advantage
Infrastructure Yes Yes Yes Yes Sustainable competitive advantage
Operations Yes Yes No Yes Temporary competitive advantage
Service Yes Yes Yes Yes Sustainable competitive advantage


Future Growth and Final Recommendation

M& S has a strong reputation together with a firmly founded brand history. These features together with its business model that is focused on its consumers is what can help the company keep growing. It is also in a stable financial condition which means it has the ability to expand its business to other new markets hence increasing its customer base. Some of the recommendations for growth include:

  1. Invest more in technology so as to expand its online business.
  2. Venture into new international markets and open up more stores.
  3. Continuously improve its products by keeping up with market trends.
  4. Invest in its marketing by adopting various tools in order to increase its sales.


Bingham, C. B. (2008). Position, leverage and opportunity: a typology of strategic logics linking resources with competitive advantage. Managerial and Decision Economics, 241-256.

Grayson, D. (2011). Embedding corporate responsibility and sustainability: Marks & Spencer. Journal of Management Development, 1017-1026.

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