Can Marks & Spencer Regain its Lost Ground?
Case Code: BSTR550
Case Length: 13 Pages
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note: Available
Organization: Marks and Spencer plc
Themes: Turnaround Strategy
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts
The history of M&S dates back to 1884, when Michael Marks (Marks), a Polish refugee, opened a market stall in Leeds with the slogan, ‘Don’t ask the price, it’s a penny’. A decade later, in 1894, Marks partnered with Thomas Spencer, a former cashier from a wholesale company, Dewhirst. In 1904, M&S opened its first shop in a covered arcade in Leeds. In 1926, Marks and Spencer Limited became a public company. M&S had expanded to 145 stores by 1915. The M&S stores, popularly known as ‘Penny Bazaar’, encouraged the customers to check items without any compulsion to buy the products – which was rare at that point of time. The stores offered shopping that was economical, simple, and friendly. The Penny pricing continued successfully until World War I in 1918, when goods became costly and hard to get...
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