Marketing mix of Marks & Spencer (M&S)
This detailed analysis of the marketing mix of Marks & Spencer (M&S) aims to look into the 4Ps i.e. product, price, place, and promotion strategies of Marks & Spencer. M&S is a leading British retailer, headquartered in London. It was founded in 1884.
Products of Marks & Spencer (M&S)
Marks & Spencer’s products are categorised as Women, Lingerie, Beauty, Men, Kids, Home, Furniture, Food, Flowers, Wine, Gifts & Hampers, Offers, and Inspire Me (Style & Living). Christmas is another category which offers Christmas related products such as gifts and decorations during the festival period. Products in each category are then further divided into subcategories e.g. footwear, accessories, nightwear etc. in Men and Women categories. Likewise, cooking, dinning, lighting, bedding, and bathroom are some of the subcategories in Home category.
M&S is well known for the quality of its products. Many customers love the company because of high quality everyday wear and food. However, Espiner & Atkinson (2016) reported that many customers lost their love for the retailer over the years as the designs were not that great and styles were badly cut.
Catering for different types of customers has not been much helpful for M&S. For instance, Primark, TK Maxx, and some other similar brands have taken market share away from M&S at the lower end of the fashion industry in the UK. Likewise, Zara and H&M are playing great in the middle end while John Lewis is on the neck of M&S at the higher end of the market (Espiner & Atkinson, 2016).
Prices and pricing strategies of Marks & Spencer (M&S)
M&S is a premium supermarket and because of this many of its products are priced between medium to high range. However, it should be mentioned that many customers perceive the prices as value for money which reflects the demography served by the company.
The pricing strategies of M&S have been recently criticised by many customers. The company and its home deliver partner Ocado have been found charging customers different prices for the same products. Some products have been found more costly in stores and some pricier online (Butler, 2020). Though in theory, this is an example of discrimination pricing strategy, many customers have been angered by this.
Place/distribution channels of Marks & Spencer (M&S)
M&S has over 1500 stores in 62 international markets (Marks and Spencer, 2020). Over 78,000 people work in these stores to help customers in their shopping. M&S bought 50% share of Ocado’s UK retail business for £750 million to introduce online food delivery service for the first time. Customers can now buy more than 6,500 M&S food products from ocado.com. This is an important decision M&S had to make as all of its competitors in the UK has online presence.
Promotion strategies of Marks & Spencer (M&S)
Promotion is the last component to discuss in the marketing mix of Marks & Spencer (M&S). The company spends millions of pounds on advertising and other marketing techniques. However, it has recently decided to cut down on marketing spend by £50 million that used to be spent on traditional media such as TV and press. The company is now focusing more on social media (Hammett, 2020).
M&S does a lot of sales promotions to increase its sales. In fact, one of its product categories is called ‘Offers’. It often offers 30% off on some products. Likewise, it also offers 2 products for £9/£10/£15/similar prices and buy one get one free.
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Last update: 21 November 2020
Butler, S. (2020) M&S and Ocado cause anger with different pricing on same items, available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/18/m-and-s-and-ocado-cause-anger-with-different-pricing-on-same-items-price-online-in-store (accessed 17 November 2020)
Espiner, T & Atkinson, E. (2016) M&S fashion: Why does it miss the mark?, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35251415 (accessed 18 November 2020)
Hammett, E. (2020) M&S cuts marketing spend by a third as it accelerates shift to digital, available at: https://www.marketingweek.com/ms-cuts-marketing-spend-by-a-third-as-it-accelerates-shift-to-digital/ (accessed 01 November 2020)
Marks & Spencer (2020) About us, available at: https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/aboutus (accessed 18 November 2020)
Author: Joe David
Joe David has years of experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality and tourism management.