Managing a store relocation project
A Marks and Spencer case study

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Page 5: Objectives

Marks And Spencer 2 Image 2Paul is not sure yet when his new store might open. “In the early days of considering the Fine-Food site, I favoured Easter for the opening or certainly no later than the spring bank holiday at the end of May, all of which are classic times to open – particularly Easter because not only is it a peak in itself, but it is also a good opportunity then to hit the kind of merchandise which sells well between Easter and Summer. The later you leave it, the less window you have. Similarly if you open in the Autumn, you are set through to Christmas. The other issue with opening dates, however, is that, while we want to open as soon as possible from a commercial trading point of view, the last thing we want to do is rush it and risk things going wrong.”

Paul explains his role and objectives in the project. “Apart from my input on the layout of the store, my role will really come to the fore in the last 10 or 12 weeks before opening. Once we get underway my objective will be to close the old store down successfully, as well as to open the new store, with minimal disruption to trade or damage to the image of Marks & Spencer in Kendal. I’ll want to close the old store at the normal time on the chosen Saturday and open the new store on the following Monday morning.”

According to Mike, “I’ll want to keep in contact with the building contractor’s Site Manager, to keep tabs on how things are going and to learn as much as possible about what is going into my new store. I can also then keep my staff up-to-date on progress - it’s important to build your staff up to the big opening day. I will also need to keep in close contact with our Head Office managers responsible for IT systems, buying, transport and corporate affairs, who will get more and more involved in the project as we get nearer to opening. I’ll also have to maintain close and cordial relationships with various local authorities, organisations and groups, partly to promote the scheme and keep them informed of progress, but also to make sure we’re meeting the needs of the local community.”

“I’ll need to get involved in planning the promotional activities to publicise and support the opening. Our Corporate Affairs Group organises most of the promotions work for the opening of a new store, but we can influence the type of campaign and feed in our knowledge of the best local press and media to use. We’ve got an excellent local commercial radio station ‘The Bay’, which covers our catchment area, so we will definitely use that and we’ll look at the local papers, posters and other media possibilities with Head Office. As soon as we’ve confirmed the definite opening date we can lock into the promotions schedule which will focus on the critical four weeks before launch day.”

Marks and Spencer | Managing a store relocation project