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Marks and Spencer Enters China Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2472 1512 Words (7 Pages) Jane Menzies, Ilan Alon, Jennifer Dugosh Ivey Publishing : W12512
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Marks and Spencer have been in the business for many years with the vision of providing high-quality products in categories such as clothing, food, and home products. Catering to a large market segments such as males, females, and children, Marks, and Spencer made considerable efforts in expanding its business outside its home country, Britain. Since it wanted to be an international retailer, M&S established its position in other countries to reduce its dependence on the UK market. 

After it entered Canada, France, and the US, Marks and Spencer tried to establish its brand reputation in China. However, due to differences in cultures between UK and China, Marks and Spencer did not face a positive response from the Chinese consumers initially. Currently, Marks and Spencer aim to change its promotional strategy to attract the Chinese into buying its products. It must take into consideration the needs of the local markets to gain a bigger market share.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What considerations of style and design, color, and product quality did M&S overlook?

  2. What factors influence international pricing decisions (that M&S should consider)?

  3. What variables are important for M&S to consider when deciding whether to standardize or localize its global advertising and communication strategy? 

Case Analysis for Marks and Spencer Enters China Case Solution

1. What considerations of style and design, color, and product quality did M&S overlook?

Research indicates that Marks & Spencer was not sensitive to changing customer needs. Even though Marks and Spencer claimed to cater to different target markets with various needs and requirements, the brand failed to comply with its statements on various occasions.

1. Design

It managed to introduce Asian fit bras and sizes 6 and 4 for women who had a petite body structure, but at the same time, it failed to produce apparel that fits the Chinese’ typical body structure. Its clothing line was based on British model size which resulted in low satisfaction among the Chinese consumers. M&S also overlooked the Chinese taste preferences. E.g., M&S offered chocolates that were sweeter than the normal taste buds of Chinese people. 

2. Style & Quality

The brand also focused more on providing clothes to middle-aged women and men and failed to take into account the young, passionate female shoppers who happen to do impulse buying. Even though Indigo Limited and Autograph Collection were designed for the younger population, their dull products seemed to be “old-fashioned” to young boys and girls. Ignoring the demographics (preferences, personalities, buying habits) of the younger population proved to be detrimental to M&S’s sales because such a profitable segment of the market was untouched. 

The disposable income of young female shoppers is higher compared to middle-aged women. This shows how the brand showed slower competitive responses in the fast-paced fashion world. The products of M&S are positioned to be not too premium but they are also not categorized to be at the lower price spectrum. As a result, it caused a stir in the Chinese market as high-income consumers wanted products like Gucci but low-income consumers could not afford M&S’s products. 

3. Colors and Varying Age Groups

M&S’s products would seem likable to mothers. However, the brand overlooked the consumers within the 18-34 age bracket who constituted the majority of the Chinese population. The products were not fashionable, the style was not classy, and the packaging was certainly not flashy as liked by most consumers. The color of the clothes seemed dull. Instead of focusing on mature shoppers, Marks and Spencer should have targeted the younger consumers and designed its products accordingly. 

2. What factors influence international pricing decisions (that M&S should consider)?

1. Changing consumer trends

Marks and Spencer should consider changing consumer preferences in international markets while determining the prices. When it entered the Chinese market, the main dilemma was the division of the population between rich and poor people. The middle-class consumers wanted to buy high-end brands and the lower-class individuals could not afford M&S’s products. As a result, the brand should introduce a common ground in terms of pricing strategies to cater to all market segments.

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