4Ps or marketing mix
M&S was faced with a major crisis when one of the top executives Mr. Wilson was leaving for another company and M&S chief executive carried out an emergency meeting to persuade him to stay. These were bad times in M&S especially when their financial manager was leaving at the time when they were faced with a lot of financial crisis such as reduction in sales volumes in all sectors except in foods. An overall decline in sales for the seventh successive quarters was realized and M&S continuously lost the market shares. Shareholders got worried of the M&S financial status when its stocks reduced to below 400p (Daley 2005).
M&S top executive convinced the public that, even though Mr. Wilson will leave them, they will still be able to make up for his responsibilities without replacement and in the long run they are capable of making the company even more successful. The top executives were shifted in offices to create a change leading to increased productivity. M&S became a limited company by adopting revolutionary policies that led to directly procuring products from the manufacturers leading to reduced production costs because of the eliminated processes.
In 2004, M&S attempted to sell some of its premises to the other investor sin the market, expand on its Per Una clothing range, closing up some of its stores and focusing on sustainability of its food stores (Fawwaz 2007). In addition, M&S come up with a recovery strategy that called for selling off the financial services to HSBC Bank plc. Some of the plans never succeeded because the targeted buyers of the premises or businesses failed to turn up accordingly due to disagreements between the shareholders on the issues.
M&S has been reviving rapidly since June 2005 and has registered a doubled profit value of around 766p in May 2007 from about 319p. The 4Ps namely product, place, price and promotion is a strategic management tool used in organizations to control visible changes. M&S have used the 4Ps in developing their marketing strategies so that they can be more productive and financially stable in a dynamically changing business environment leading to changes in marketing strategies because of market crisis as shown in the diagram 1(Kotler 2003). During the crisis, M&S started dealing with casual dresses in some of its stores in the local markets.
M&S focused on “Per Una” a clothing type that was designed by George Davies and then redesigned the business model to improve on their rates of return in 2001. M&S later accepted offering its services to customers that had other credit cards other than theirs and worked even on weekends particularly on Sundays (Fawwaz 2007). Cafes and bars were introduced in most of the stores to provide for hygienic, nutritious and cheap catering for increased number of people. M&S benefited from this system more so during crisis in the countries such as war because it was the most convenient way to cater for people when resources are scarce.
Later on, Asian foods were introduced in to the stores and online shopping was initiated to promote sales of new and fashionable clothes that were then being sold. In 2006, M&S introduced a wide range of Christmas offers from foodstuff such as sandwiches to products for supporting charity housing as a shelter. M&S has redesigned changing its premises to have its new signature styles and has decided to use energy serving systems to reduce emissions with up to 50% and adopted a wide selection of technology goods in most of its major stores with home departments (Fawwaz 2007).
An M&S laptop has been installed and commissioned to provide technical services and a house to services can offered for example maintenance services to the laptops bought from M&S. During the crisis, M&S refused to expand its markets with the Brook Brothers because the Brook Brother was selling its products at a relatively higher price and M&S was so conscious of their prices as their philosophy in business (Cope 2000). M&S always emphasized on quality to maintain its reputation of fair value for money. M&S reduced market prices further to retain its market share (Laurent 2009).