Building a business in Europe
A Marks and Spencer case study

Page 1: Introduction

Over recent years, the changing political, social and economic environment has created a different type of competitive situation for European companies. The pace of change has created many new challenges for nearly every business organisation. The net result has been an increasing interest in Europe and the marketing opportunities it represents. Europe has become one of the most important...
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Page 2: Customer focus

The key to market development is market-orientation. Few organisations operate in a static environment. In a global marketplace, tastes, demographics and purchasing power are just a few of the constantly changing factors which influence the goods and services required. In the past, goods were relatively similar and there was an unsatisfied thirst for niche products. Successful organisations...
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Page 3: Strategy

Marks & Spencer's entry into the German market had been carefully considered for some time. With re-unification, the population of Germany expanded from 65 million to more than 80 million and, as the world’s second largest exporter following the USA, Germany is a highly industrialised country with a strong service sector and high population density. Germany is also the world’s...
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Page 4: Facing the challenges

Although clear opportunities existed in Germany, Marks & Spencer, in entering the most price-orientated food and quality conscious clothing market in Europe, faced many new challenges. For example: The Marks & Spencer brand was virtually unknown in Germany. It would be a major challenge to create customer awareness against the background of well established, highly competitive...
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Page 5: Product

Marks & Spencer's activities attracted country-wide publicity. It was not simply Marks & Spencer going to Cologne, it was a British retailer going into Germany. Marks & Spencer aimed to price its products competitively. Over a two year period, the entry strategy into Germany was developed by ‘walking the market.’ This entailed customer surveys and close product...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Overseas markets provide the opportunity for Marks & Spencer to bring something different to marketplaces which are receptive to new products and added value. As a successful UK business, Marks & Spencer has focused much of its efforts upon developing into a successful international business in the long-term. The key to this has been appreciating the individual nature of each market...
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