There are many reasons why I chosen M&s as my national business. One of the reasons why I chose M&S is because M&S sponsored an entrepreneur scheme called NTYE this allowed me to gain more insight into M&S and its infrastructure. This also allowed me to become more familiar with the business, as I felt that M&S being a PLC, gaining any required information wouldn’t be of difficulty as M&S are obliged to publish all their financial records for shareholders. Another reason I have chosen M&S as the national business to assess is because I personally shop at M&S frequently and so are aware of the range of products M&S offer to the public I have also visited the store and therefore have had a first-hand experience of M&S .After inspecting a range of other national business such as Debenhams and New Look I felt that M&S was the overall right business to choose as M&S were very willing to give me information on their business and answer any follow-up question I have. The way in which I will conduct my research is through gathering information from a range of sources, such as Tom Moby the M&S company spokesperson, the M&S sales and corporate websites, also the questionnaire I created to help gather the information I needed for this activity and various news articles found online which will validate my assessment. The Rep
Similarly there are many different reasons why I chose The Rep to be the local business to asses. The Rep is local to Birmingham and a reasonable distance from the school; this means that I am able to gather the information I need without the inconvenience of travelling a long distance away. I have also been interested in theatre and have seen a number of productions The Rep has produced such as ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘The Snowman’ which made me curious about the foundation upon The Rep is set on. Another reason why I chose The Rep is because The Rep is known to reach out to schools and making people aware of theatre and so is willing to give my school the information I need to complete the assessment. The information will also be gathered from various sources such as The Reps spokesperson Steve Ball, the internet and also my personal questionnaire I completed when the school allowed us to go to The Rep in order to gather the information we needed for the assessment. History
M&S began with Michael Marks in 1884 when he first began his own penny Bazaar. He later joined to form a partnership with Tom Spencer in 1894. The beginning of M&S was the five key foundations of Quality, Value, Service, Innovation and Trust. M&S have over 700 stores in the UK alone that employ around 80,000people worldwide; M&S also have approximately 300 international stores in 44 countries, thus a national business. The Birmingham Rep
The Rep was founded by Sir Barry Jackson in 1913. Sir Barry Jackson was knighted in 1925 as he promoted theatre. The first Rep also known as ‘The old Rep was located on Station Street. The Rep later moved to Board Street in 1971. The Rep is currently undergoing redevelopment to be part of The library of Birmingham. The Rep employs 50 full-time employees in reference to Steve Ball the spokesperson of The Rep on the school visit and also takes on local volunteers. Purpose and Activities
The M&S corporate website states ‘we sell high quality, great value clothing and home products as well as outstanding food’ this simply means that M&S providing a service to the public; supplying them with daily essentials and luxurious items, of a high quality to keep the customers satisfied. The items M&S sell can range from clothing for men women and children to M&S food in return for profit. In this case the image of the M&S chocolate pudding is said to be one of M&S’ most successful products in reference to their corporate website. M&S attempt to ensure that their customers are receiving the highest standard, so that they return to their stores and buy more products from M&S such as clothes and home products, generating more capital for M&S. Another example would be that if the customers are more satisfied with their products, the percentage of the customer buying from other departments of the store also increase, this generates more capital for M&S and at the same time creates more loyal customers that regularly return to their store; allowing M&S to fulfil its purpose. The Rep
In contrast to M&S; The Rep theatre has the purpose to ‘Inspire the city of Birmingham to a lifelong love of Theatre’ according to the Steve Ball the spokesperson for The Rep when we made the visit. The Rep also ‘engage, enlighten and entertain and wherever possible reflect the diversity of Birmingham and the surrounding region’ The Rep provides and experience for not only the wealthy in Birmingham but for all of Birmingham. The Rep theatre attempts to reflect the diversity of Birmingham through the production of show such as ‘Dim sum Nights’ and ‘East is East’ this ultimately encourages ethnic minorities to watch productions such as these. For instance teenagers and young adults would be more interested in theatre when there are productions on that relate to the 21st Century audience. After enjoying the theatre experience there is a high probability that the customers would return to watch another production, effectively making people aware that theatre can bring an enjoyable experience and contributing to completing The Rep’s purpose.
Another example would be that The Rep accommodates its customers as certain productions are for certain people. The Rep theatre produces shows such as ‘Wind in the Willows’ which is targeted at families whom have young children. I personally have seen ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ which I felt was suited accordingly to the audience which mostly consisted of children, schools and their parent. This effectively allows the children to gain an enjoyable experience and encourages them to continue to explore theatre. Ownership
M&S is a PLC, a public limited company. This means that M&S profit from the public buying shares of the M&S business; M&S sell shares of their company on the FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) this is where members of the public can invest into different businesses such as M&S. Whereas; The Rep is registered charity limited by guarantee with a board of trustees the likes of Arts Council of Britain and Birmingham city council., this means that The Rep is a non- profit making organisation receiving funding and donations from the public through an alternative route than M&S. M&S rely on the sale of shares on the stock exchange to reinvest back into M&S. As well as The Rep a without the donations and funding they receive from the board of Trustees; The Rep would go bankrupt. This is also interlinked with the fact that both companies have limited liability. This means that the shareholders of M&S and the board of trustees (Arts council of Britain and Birmingham council) at The Rep are not liable for the downfall of the business. For example should M&S go bankrupt the investors would only lose their initial investment in M&S. similarly the board of trustees that invested into The Rep would lose their donations/investment in The Rep.
This also assures the shareholder and the board of trustees at M&S and The Rep that their personal possessions are safe from the repossession. Contrastingly M&S are able to generate more capital through the sale of shares on the stock market. These sales could allow M&S to expand and invest capital into portfolio brands. However M&S is at risk of a takeover as if one shareholder gains 51% of M&S they are able to privatise M&S retracting its shares from the stock market and become a private limited company. While this is a disadvantage to The Rep as The Rep hasn’t got shares to sell because of its status as a registered charity. The Rep solely relies on the tickets sales of the productions and the funding it received from its trustees to improve their showcases. Although it cannot sell shares to raise more capital The Rep is assured of its ownership as they are not at risk of being overtaken. This is an advantage to The Rep because should there be one shareholder/owner of The Rep they may change the vision and purpose ultimately changing what to The Rep theatre represents.
M&S in an international organisation because its branches do not only occupy the UK M&S have stores around the world. M&S in an international Business located in over 44 different territories including Europe, The Middle East and Asia. For example there are over 700 stores located in the UK alone; and over another 400 international stores in countries such as Russia, China and India. My M&S store is located at the Fort Shopping Park in Fort Parkway in Birmingham. The Fort shopping Park is an ideal place for an M&S store as it surrounded by people already shopping and it caters to their needs as customers are already in the process of purchasing items, this ultimately causes them to spend more.
Contrastingly, The Repertory Theatre is located in currently located at St Georges Court Albion Street in Birmingham. This is due to current redevelopment that will combine The Library of Birmingham to The Rep Theatre. The Rep Theatre is regional or otherwise local business as The Rep Theatre is a local business because it provides a service to the local public and also operates within the Birmingham area. This means The Rep services the people in the Birmingham area and the surrounding area. The Rep is well suited to this area has it is surrounded by different types of entertainment and in a very spacious environment which allows The Rep to spontaneously promote their productions. Competitors
M&S have three main competitors that all manufacture promote and sell to the same target market as M&S. The Rep
Aims and Objectives
M&S organisation has a vision to ‘Transform M&S into a truly international, multi-channel retailer’ M&S also has three main aims that support their vision. One of the three aims is to offer a first class shopping experience. This means that M&S are attempting to keep the customers satisfied with their experience and impression of M&S. This aim can be achieve through a plethora of ways. One way of achieving this aim is to train the employee in customer service strategies and hospitality. For example the ways in which the employees interact with the customers contributes to the satisfaction of the customer. Staff acting in a kind and accommodating manner provide the customers with an easy way to shop and are more likely to return to M&S because they have been treated with respect. This supports the aim as more customers return shows that M&S is valued because of their hospitality and assistance encouraging the customer to return to M&S this also supports the vision as the more customers return to M&S the more revenue M&S is generating, this could be used to expand M&S to different territories and also develop its multi-channel Another way of achieving the aim to offer a first class shopping experience is to make the prices of their products affordable.
For example ‘Two can Dine in for £10’ the affordable prices mean the customers are getting value for money, this then links to the fact that customers are happy with their purchase as M&S has provided them with their desired product, meaning M&S are achieving the aim of offering a first class shopping experience. This also links to M&S vision as M&S could take these prices that suit the customers allowance to expand in their business internationally. The availability of products also contribute to M&S’ aims. M&S make their products available to the customers in different ways. These ways include ‘shop your way’ were the customers can purchase products online and collect in store. This excludes and delivery charges saving the customer’s money and time. This supports the aim of offering a first class shopping experience as the customers have a variety of ways to purchase products from M&S; this gives the customers change and also a different and more convenient shopping experience. This leaves a lasting impression that M&S is diverse and flexible. This supports the vision as the more flexible M&S is the further it can expand to become a multi-channel retailer.
Another of M&S aims is to develop the M&S brand. This means that M&S are improving and changing to benefit the customer’s need. This includes developing the promotion of products sold in M&S. For example designers such as Twiggy and Per Una produce products particularly for M&S. M&S could achieve this goal by focusing on the UK M&S stores; this attracts more customers to M&S because of their range of brands and the quality of their clothing. M&S base their production and sales mostly in the UK as M&S has over 700 stores located in the UK. This links to the vision as if M&S are able to achieve this aim of developing the M&S brand M&S could expand into a larger organisation internationally and create more channels for customers to use. M&S also have the objective of promoting their products through celebrities and promotional offers.
For instance M&S could be promoting products such as women’s clothes in different ways such as on bill board and TV advertisements. M&S use celebrities such as Ryan Ronald’s to promote their Autograph brand. The promotional offers allow the customers to receive value for their money, this ultimately appeals to the customer and are more likely to return because of their quality and prices. M&S also aim to grow M&S into an international and Omni channel business. This means that M&S are aiming to expand their business in a number of ways. This includes setting up their French M&S sales website so that international customers are able to purchase products online. For example many of the French M&S customers would be able to also benefit from the services that M&S provide their own customers; allowing the M&S customers to shop their own way increasing sales and therefore expanding their multi-channel organisation and also expanding M&S internationally. The Rep
The Rep has the mission statement to ‘produce excellent theatrical experiences, to entertain, enlighten and engage audiences and, wherever possible, to reflect the diversity of Birmingham and the surrounding region. This supports our vision, which is to ‘Inspire the city of Birmingham to a lifelong love of theatre’ The Rep also has 3 aims to support their mission statement and vision. One of The Rep’s aims is to produce excellent theatrical experiences. This means that The Rep aim to provide customers with an enjoyable theatrical experience. This could be achieves through The Rep hiring actors with a theatrical background to support the productions of The Rep. With The Rep hiring actors with a theatrical background The Rep would be able to produce a realistic showcase to engage and enlighten the customers exposing them to theatre, therefore supporting their vision The Rep aims to produces excellent theatre experience could be supported by The Rep investing in the right set materials and realistic props.
The realistic props would allow the customers to relate to the productions. This provides a more enjoyable theatrical experience as the theatre production would also become more cinematic. This also supports the vision as The Rep has to produce theatrical plays that relate to the diversity of Birmingham. Production such as ‘East Is East’ and ‘Dim Sum Nights’ express the diversity of Birmingham to attract ethnic minorities to The Rep in this case reflecting the diversity of Birmingham. Another of The Rep’s aims is to raise awareness of The Rep theatre. This means that The Rep is attempting to make more people aware of the experiences that The Rep provide. Sub departments such as the Learning and Participation focus on making young people in schools aware of the experiences The Rep provide. The learning and participation department go out to schools and work with children to star of life-long love for theatre from a young age. This would be passed through generation ultimately making more people aware of The Rep.
The Rep raises awareness through marketing; marketing allows the largest amount of people to acknowledge the existence of The Rep this could be through a number of ways such as focusing on businesses and using their A-B marketing team to promote The Rep in a selection of ways. In this case The Rep have their own YouTube channel which promote the different production coming to The Rep this allows The Rep to gain more customers that differ as they are more likely to see The Rep’s productions online rather than on paper or buses. The more people that know about The Rep the more awareness The Rep has generated and therefore attracting more people to The Rep. this increases the amount of tickets sold by The Rep supporting their vision and mission to engage enlighten and entertain A final aim of The Rep is to maximise funding and deliver a value for money service. This means that the productions the customers pay for has to be of a reasonable price. The Rep receives funding from the Birmingham City Council and The Arts Council of Britain.
The Rep also receives sponsorships from businesses and TV network such as the BBC. This allows The Rep to improve on the productions and also allows the productions ticket prices to be kept at an appropriate range. This contributes to The Rep delivering a value for money service as more people would buy tickets that are value for money and also provide an enjoyable experience. This as a result supports The Rep main vision of inspiring the city of Birmingham to a lifelong love of theatre. The Rep also recycles their setting props and costumes in rotation to other theatres such as The Birmingham Hippodrome and The Birmingham Dum. This reduces the amount of waste produced by The Rep and also reduces their costs as there would be no need to buy more materials to make the props and setting. The Rep sells their used props to other theatres to generate more income. Thus, maximising their funding and therefore reducing their cost of tickets meaning there is more funds that could be reinvested into The Rep to support the mission of reflecting the diversity of Birmingham and also inspiring Birmingham to a lifelong love of theatre.
Similarities and differences in the aim of M&S and The Rep There are similarities and difference between the aims of M&S and The Rep. One of these similarities is that M&S and The Rep both offer some sort of experience to their customers; whether it is a shopping experience or a theatrical experience. Both businesses attempt to make their customers leave with an impression to either return to M&S and The Rep or to avoid returning to M&S and The Rep. Although The Rep and M&S both have different objectives in order to meet these aims both aims are similar as both M&S and The Rep are maintaining their regular customers through the experience both businesses offer. This as a result would help achieve The Rep and M&S visions and mission Another similarity between the aims of M&S and The Rep is that both businesses attempt to attract more customers to M&S and The Rep. The Rep want to raise awareness of The Rep theatre and M&S want to develop their own brand. Similarly both businesses want to make more people aware of their existence.
The Rep raise awareness through connecting with the younger generation as M&S also focus on the people in the UK. This ultimately allows M&S and The Rep to achieve their aims as well as their vision. A difference between the aims of The Rep and M&s is that whereas The Rep aims to maximise their funding and deliver a value for money service, M&S on the other hand want to grow the business internationally. The Rep maximise their funding through sponsorships from other business and also donations from the people of Birmingham. In contrast to M&S who set up their French sales website and also have their own YouTube channel along with Facebook and Twitter. This means that M&S are able to gain new customer through technology therefore expanding into a multi-channel business. The Rep are also able to produce shows that have a stable pricing so new customers will hopefully return also supporting The Rep’s mission of introducing the people of Birmingham into a lifelong love of theatre. Justification of the achievements of M&S aims
M&s have three main aims that are supported by objectives; these objectives ensure that the aims are being met. M&S’ first aim was to offer a first class shopping experience, the objectives that support this aim are ensuring the employees are of properly trained in customer service, making sure their products are affordable and also ensuring that their products are available to the public. From these three objectives M&S seem to have faults in all. However M&S is partially achieving their aim of offering a first class shopping experience. M&S have ensured that their employees are adequately trained as an article from Yahoo News quoted Jo Moran Had of Customer Service at M&S ‘differentiating ourselves through excellent customer relationships and service.’ where 50,000 employees of M&S completed a programme on hospitality and customer service. M&S received accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service. However in general M&S Clothing and Home revenue has decreased by 0.9%. M&S have faced difficulties with the sales of clothing this could be due to cut backs and also the financial difficulty that causes the public the spend less on luxurious items.
On the other hand M&S sales in food have increased by 3.9% according to the M&S corporate website. M&S is able to provide quality food despite the inflation pressure. M&S promotional brands and also their ‘dine in’ campaign increased the M&S Food revenue. This could also be due to the new 1900 food lines that have been released since 2010. Encouraging the public to buy more food especially during the Christmas season where M&S have benefitted the most when it comes to food. However sales and stock shares have also dropped during this season this could be due to competition from other stores such as Debenhams. The store layout is also included as it links to the development of the M&s therefore the more available and easier to navigate around the store M&s is the more likely that M&s will achieve this aim of offering a first class shopping experience. Furthermore, M&S’ aim to develop the M&S brand has not yet been achieved. Objectives such as M&S ‘Focus on the UK’ schemes according to the corporate website and annual report suggest that there will be some improvements will be made to increase M&S Clothing and Home revenue which is currently at £4.2 Billion and also decreased by 0.9%.
Improvements from designers and the layout of the stores could boost M&S’ Clothing revenue. The decrease could also be due to the fact the M&s are failing to provide their customers with in seasonal clothing especially in the women’s underwear department. As The Guardian commented on the M&S store layout and stated in their article that M&S’; “Vast array of products can be confusing to navigate”. Also suggestion that M&S need to get; “individual branded areas (…) so the customer knows what to look for,” the comment from Lorna Hall of Fashion Trend Consultancy shows that the overall experience at M&S would frustrate the customer therefore, preventing the development of the M&S brand and also restricting M&S from providing customers with a first class shopping experience. Customers would get frustrated as the store layout May prevent the customer from purchasing their desired products. And as a result reduce the general sale of products at M&S decreases. M&s have been recommended to alter their store layout and have shown progress as customer recommendation at the updated stores are around 10% higher than the rest of the business.
According to the M&s corporate website M&S the 2012 TV Campaign saw 37,000 Per Una dresses sold by Myleen Klass. This shows that M&s are in some ways developing within the UK, promoting M&S products through designer wear such as Autograph and Per Una. However an article produced by The Guardian shows that sales in the clothing range at M&S have decreased by 6.8% Carol Nodder, editor in chief of fashion industry trade bible Drapers commented on the decrease and said; “M&S are trying to be all things to all people with all those sub-brands: they’ve alienated their core customer and have failed to attract new ones” this suggests that M&s are attempting to achieve an excessive load within a short space of time. Although is a large organisation, with the focus being on international expansion and relation other areas of the initial business will by association suffer. M&S also has a third main aim to develop the M&S organisation internationally. M&S have met this aim through a number of ways. Firstly they have increased their territories by one. According to the M&S annual report M&S have 387 stores internationally and also retuned to France with their 100 Champs Elysees campaign.
International relations have boosted M&S revenue as the annual report shows that international revenue has increased by 5.8% to £1.1 Billion. The multi-channel aim M&S has acquired has been supported by the objective of becoming an Omni-channel organisation. The Multi-channel sales have also increased by 18%. This may be due to M&S joining social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and along with their own YouTube channel were able to expand into a more international and Omni channel organisation as a result . M&S shop your way scheme allows customers to purchase items from M&S in a plethora of ways; whether it’s through telephone, online or in store. As shown in the annual report the expansion of M&S into new territories contributed to their multi-channel revenue which has also increased by 18%. M&S have also stated in their annual report that they will ‘continue to build M&S into a more internationally focused business’ therefore are meeting their current objective. Ethical Trading
M&S use different methods to trade ethically. One of these ways M&S trade ethically is through the waste M&S produce. The current 5p charge on M&S plastic carrier bags mean that M&S are encouraging their customers to bring in their own plastic bags according to my own experience at M&S. This, as a result means that M&S would have to produce less plastic bags that would end up in landfills and emits less greenhouse gases during the production of these bags. This also reduces the expenses of M&S as M&S wouldn’t have to buy as many plastic bags retaining more of a profit. M&S are also managing their waste through their Zero Waste scheme. M&S are planning to send none of their waste to landfills. This is achieved by selling food near their shelf-life to customers at a discounted price. This generates more sales for M&S and also reduces the amount of products sent to landfills and also reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. However M&S could improve on their reducing waste scheme as the ‘Zero Waste’ scheme was set up in 2012 and has not yet be fully achieved. According to the M&s corporate website the Plan A scheme will be completed by 2015 with all 180 commitments being achieved. M&S use their ‘Plan A’ which consists of a number of different areas that help M&S to trade ethically.
One of the areas being Climate change; M&S has 180 commitments in Plan A and so far according to the M&S corporate website 134 of these commitments have been achieved. Through new lighting fitting and increasing the efficiency in stores M&S were able to reduce their energy consumption by 28% this reduced the amount of emission M&S create and also reduces their expenses on bills such as light and heat. M&S have also designed their aerodynamic tear-drop trailer trucks that save fuel, this releases fewer emissions therefore decreasing their carbon footprint and saving M&S revenue at the same time according to their Plan A website. However M&S could further extend this to their factories and increasing their efficiency on a larger scale this could further reduce their emissions and also increase their revenue. M&S also trade ethically through suppliers. M&S are associated with Fair Trade which ensures that the people producing the items bought from under developed countries are being rewarded for their labour.
This allows M&S to trade ethically as suppliers are made to sign a ‘Code of Ethics’ that illegal obligates the supplier to pay its workers appropriately. This means that every employee will be paid for the products sold to M&S. M&S also have a scheme that allows M&S to trade ethically the recycling of hangers means that M&S won’t have to produce as many hangers to put out on the shop floor. M&S also sponsor UNICEF as ‘for every box of hangers recycled a child can drink clean water for a fortnight’ promoted thought their ambassador Kate Deale, according to the M&S corporate website. However the Guardian newspaper has released an article in 2010 stating that ‘Indian workers were only being paid 25p and hour’ M&S could improve this on an enormous scale. This shows that although M&S have produce their Plan A initiative there is still some issues to ensure that all the 180 commitments are being met by M&S. M&S believe all commitments will be achieved by 2015.
History Purpose and Activities| http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/about/history/ http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/event/dim-sum-nights/ (image)http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/event/the-wind-in-the-willows/ (image) Questionnaire School visit – spokesperson Steve Ball| Location and Competitors| http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/visit/getting-here/ Questionnaire School Visit spokesperson Steve Ball | Aims and Objectives| Questionnaire http://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/about/mission/ | Bibliography
Section | Sources|
History, Purpose and Activities| http://www.marksintime.marksandspencer.com/ms-history/timeline/ image from the same URLhttp://corporate.marksandspencer.com/aboutus http://www.marksandspencer.com/ | Location and Competitors| http://www.thefort.co.uk/stores-item.php?id=22 http://www.thefort.co.uk/stores-item.php?id=22 (image) http://www.thefort.co.uk/page.php?p=6 (image) | Aims and Objectives| http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/aboutus/our_plan Questionnaire School Visit | Achievement of aims at M&S| http://news.yahoo.com/marks-spencer-customer-training-achieves-landmark-accreditation-standard-102526805.htmlhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jan/13/marks-and-spencer-marc-bolland http://annualreport.marksandspencer.com/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/15/m-and-s-celebrity-online
http://www.businessandleadership.com/business/item/39020-mands-uk-sales-hit-by-poor-ge | Ethical Trading at M&S| http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/documents/publications/2010/planacommitments2010 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/08/gap-next-marks-spencer-sweatshops http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/media/press_releases/plan_a_half-year_update2 http://plana.marksandspencer.com/about/partnerships/oxfam/shwopping | M&S