higher level of political scrutiny over food retail outlets because it is the second largest employer in the UK. with public health assuming a more important focus, there has been a tighter regulation of food stores for this Company.
Transition from the traditional supply chain management system to a system of vendor managed inventory, which in conjunction with a tailor made forecasting package, has produced gains for Marks and Spencer and made it one of the most profitable and efficient retailers. (Storey et al, 2003). The Company rarely needs to sell its products at discounts because the supply side is well managed.
The percentage of revenues accruing from international sales has increased to 7.1% of group turnover.(2007 Annual report), however maintaining this is a challenge in the face of increased competition in the European Common Market, the development of the common currency – the Euro and changes in VAT
Marks and Spencer started off primarily as a clothes retailer. however it has now expanded into food and home products to compete effectively in the global market. British retail competitors of Marks and Spencer are also large corporate chains, which may have their headquarters outside the country, hence outsourcing activities and knowledge management becomes a key element affecting operating as well as long term profitability.
Marks and Spencer staff have mostly been recruited young and continued within the organization for many years. as a result, there are some set procedures and routines in operating which have become integral to the staff and has produced resistance among employees to changes within the organization.(Mellahi et al, 2002)
Existing markets for Marks and Spencer have expanded beyond UK and has produced a change from the traditional focus of London as the major retail center to a more diffused network of customers and stores across the globe.