Marks & Spencer How to Enter the New Market in China

Marks & Spencer How to Enter the New Market in China

Table of Contents

Marks & Spencer: How to Enter the New Market in China. 4

The Chinese Market 5

Michael Porter’s 5 forces. 6

Threat of Entry. 7

Threat of Substitutes. 7

Power of Buyers. 8

Power of Suppliers. 8

Competitive Rivalry. 8

Failure in the Chinese Market 9

Marketing Mix—Product: 9

Clothing. 9

Sizing. 10

Style with Fashion. 10

Food. 11

Brwithing Problems. 12

Packaging Problems. 12

Price. 12

Place. 13

Promotion. 14

Supply Chain with Timing. 14

Institutional Considerations. 15

Integration. 15

Cultural Issues. 16

Turn around Strategies. 16

Product 17

Price. 19

Place. 20

Promotion. 21

Brwith Awareness. 21

Print advertising. 22

Online advertising. 22

Billboards. 23

Supply chain. 23

Culture. 24

Conclusion. 24

References. 26



Marks & Spencer: How to Enter the New Market in China

Marks & Spencer are a known retail outlet, with a great presence in UK. The retail company is incorporated in 1894 (Clegg, Carter, Kornberger & Schweiter, 2011) through a partnership agreement with Michael Marks with Thomas Spencer. Two of the entrepreneurs successfully opened outlet in Manchester. The main idea at that time was on providing clothes of high quality and also to offer great value for money. Based on these issues, M&S experienced big growth for years, with expansion of its operations across the borders. However, the company experienced internalization as well as branding problems in the beginning of the early 1980s, which affected the company’s performance in the UK market more (Clegg, Carter, Kornberger & Schweiter, 2011). Currently, the company has about 900 retail outlets spread all over the world, with a poor performance. The retail sales fell by 1.8%, in October 2012, although this was more a 7% improvement compared to the previous three month (Thompson, 2012).

The product of the company of M&S include clothing with food products. In the global arena, M&S has over 2000 suppliers (Peng, 2008). Because of increased competition, and also because of changes to the customer tastes and also preference, M&S has experienced several problem within its operation. The most big problem is that the company forgot the business it was doing previously by producing products that did not have a direct relationship to its main business. Several outlets took the opportunity with stole a big chunk of the market share from M&S. To overcome these challenge, M&S undertook to chase the Chinese market because of the potential to wider opportunities in the Asian giant.

The Chinese Market

International marketers have a great interest in the Chinese market for various reasons. The Chinese economy has continued to grown in many years. In 2009, the country’s sales stood at $1.8 trillion, which is more to 16% more than was in the previous year (Zhiming & Wei, 2010). Therefore, China has overtaken Japan with now command of  the number two position in the world after the US (McCurry & Kollewe, 2011). It is widely expected to see China will overtake the US and become also the world’s greatest economy in 2020 (McCurry & Kollewe, 2011). This big growth in the country’s economy has led to more money in the Chinese people. In addition, China has a large population, currently at about 1.4 billion people. This is a big market for any multinational. However, accessing this market is a great challenge for companies.

In summary, changing demographics, with increased incomes among the Chinese people have created a favorable business environment for transnational corporations. M&S was one of the foreign companies to try their luck in the Chinese market. In 2008, the retail outlet opened a store in Shanghai. However, the company’s’ operations were not successful. It is paramount that a marketer tries to understand the environment in which to enter because not all markets are homogenous. The failure of the venture was two-fold. First, there was the issue of product incompatibilities. Secondly, superstitious beliefs among the Chinese adversely affected sales leading to declined operations.

This paper is organized into several section that also try to understand the company current situation with the needs to explore other markets, especially China. The first part I will undertake a situation analysis using the Michael Porters 5 forces. This will assist in understanding the situation of M&S in the UK market. After analyzing the Michael Porters five forces that influence the firms’ competitiveness, the next section will look on the issues that led to the failure of M&S in the Chinese market. Here the problematic marketing mix that also  caused poor performance in China will be explored. Later in the paper, I will be shown how the company is to use the various elements of the marketing mix to create new impact on Chinese market. This will seen that that M&S can effectively employ the recommendations provided and so turn around its opportunities in the Chinese market.

Michael Porter’s 5 forces

From the beginning of this paper, it is noted the world underwent a difficult time after the the global financial crisis. The crisis which began in the US in 2007, also spread to other parts of the world (Dolezalek, 2011). The cause of the failure of the financial system have been attributed to poor regulations of banking institution and poor framework within the financial systems which led to careless lending. More people were given cheap loan from financial institution to build houses. However, the housing boom, which resulted from the enormous investments in the real estate burst, led to massive losses to both the investors and the financiers. This caused the massive layoffs with increased unemployment (Dolezalek, 2011). European countries were the most hit by the recession. As a result, increased unemployment rates greatly affected consumer buying pattern since little income was available to make purchase (Dolezalek, 2011). When consumers have no enough money to buy, they will buy cheaper substitutes to satisfy their need. For the company M&S, this means loss of customers because that people started shopping for less expensive products.

According to Porter (2008), a company must understand with cope with the level of competition in the industry in which it operates. However, it clear that managers have a narrow definition of what is competition. According to Porter (2008), competition goes beyond the known competitors and include also other factors such as buyers, new entrants into the market, substitute products, suppliers of raw materials, with competitive rivalry (Porter, 2008). Accordingly, these five elements in the competitive market arena define with shape the manner of competition in which M&S operates.

Threat of Entry

The 2007 global crisis (Dolezalek, 2011), has made it difficult for new entrants into the retail business because of the reduced purchasing power of customers. However, M&S has still to face off with online retailers with the increasing number of supermarket chains. In the recent past, M&S has recognized the need to embrace online shopping (Wood, 2012). M&S appreciates that, without delving into online marketing, it will lose more customers to competition. The benefit of online shopping is that it lowers business costs significantly. For instance, a company will not have to incur costs related to acquisition of premises or payment of staff. Such benefits increase the entrance of competition on this segment (Wood, 2012). Moreover, M&S can take the battle to another front to keep its status as a premium company.

Threat of Substitutes

The threat of substitute products is extremely high because of the increased number of competitors (Porter, 2008).  Although competitors such as John Lewis with Waitrose would pose a great challenge to M&S, the harsh economic realities experienced in Britain with by large, the whole of Europe means that customers are more predisposed to seek cheaper products. Such substitutes can be from the likes of Next or the established supermarkets. In addition, M&S has been slow in initiating change to keep abreast with the changing customer preferences (Grundy, 2012). With short lead times, it becomes natural for competitors to chip in with meet the expectation of the customers. As a result, customers achieve their satisfaction from new competitors.

Power of Buyers

With the coming of numerous retailers in market, buyers have a time to shop around with make their decisions accordingly. Therefore, M&S should maintain its status by providing their customer with high quality products. This will help retain their customers within their fold. More, the power the buyers have in this case means the cost also go too low (Porter, 2008).  It is also so that M&S must ensure their customers get value for their money.

Power of Suppliers

M&S does not depend on suppliers like also other retailer. M&S sell own with products with buys raw materials. This is important aspect in the value chain because it boost the profit of the company profit margins. However, because of the established nature of their business, M&S has advantage in negotiating discounts (Porter, 2008).

Competitive Rivalry

M&S sell food stuffs, home wares and clothing. The company also face stiff competition from other retail stores like Asda, Tesco, with Sainsbury (Bourlakis & Weightman, 2008). On the other side also, Next with John Lewis, who have made a name in the clothing sector, give M&S stiff competition. According to Porter (2008), companies pursue generic strategies. These include low cost leadership, differentiation strategy or hybrid strategy. M&S is as a company that also provide value for money by providing their customers with high quality products. However, because of challenge of other competitors, M&S rebrand with reduced its prices significantly. This might lead to the devaluation of the company’s brand in the market where specialization has also changed the retail business.

Failure in the Chinese Market

The discussion on the Michael Porter’s five forces show the situation that is M&S faces. So, to increase its business also the company decided to go into the Chinese market. However, the entry strategy and also the marketing mix employed by the firm in the Chinese market has led to serious challenges the firm is also currently facing. The goal of the marketing mix is to meet and also to exceed the demand of the consumers in a way that meets the firm’s objectives (Dahlen, Lange & Smith, 2010). It is also true because that markets are subject to numerous forces that have a bearing on the consumer behaviors. Therefore, any problem in the market will require the change also in to the marketing mix for a company to meet the needs of the customers (Dahlen, Lange & Smith, 2010).

Marketing Mix—Product:


The product is an essential part of the marketing mix. Indeed, the expectancy of any consumers is to get the goods with services that reflect their tastes with preferences. This is what customers of M&S expect. However, in the last few years, the company’s products have not been meeting the needs of the customers. The biggest problem is having outdated fashions in the market. Although it has been shown that the company had instituted some changes on this front, some complains, especially in the Chinese market, continued to dominate.

Fashion specialists have noted some common factors that may lead to products failure on the clothing segment (Hitt, Irelwith, Hoskisson, 2007). These include outdated models or clothes designed poorly, poor fitting with sizing, styles with prints among others. If a product does not resonate well with the customers, then the marketing executives should realign their brwith so that it appeals to the buyers. Indeed, M&S products failed because they could not appeal to customers because of poor design with shape among other critical factors (Hitt, Irelwith, Hoskisson, 2007). If customers are unhappy about a product, marketers should immediately take corrective measures to address the issues raised. However, for M&S, little was done on this front. The disconnect between the product with customers meant losses for M&S


There is a need for marketers to ensure that their products fit well on their targeted group of customers (Moore, 2010). To have a well-fitting size, a company must collect the mean sizes of the group that the cloth dealer is targeting before going to production with stocking to ensure maximum sales. Likewise, the target consumers of M&S cloth products are women of age forty years with above who are after products that fit them comfortably with of high quality (Moore, 2010). This was not the mean in the Chinese market (Moore, 2010). Indeed, the M&S just used what was applicable in the UK with duplicated the same in China (Wood & Finch, 2009). This is a total disaster considering that most Chinese are short, with would need sizes that match their bodies. As a result, M&S has faced many complains from consumers on over size clothes with inner wears compared to other shopping outlets. M&S has put some bias on quality with size, a factor that its competitors, whose products are cheaper, have capitalized on, thus outdoing M&S (Moore, 2010).

Style with Fashion

Consumers in the Chinese market where the majority are women, showed a low esteem to M&S garments given that they perceived them as too big with simple, despite the great effort that the company has put in addressing the needs of consumers of different age brackets. Moreover, the generalization issue is likely to have contributed to the failure of the brands to capture the young Chinese attention. This implies that also retailers should alsofocus on well-specified areas for fast moving fashions (Wood & Finch, 2009). M&S clothes have failed to meet the challenge posed by its competitors because of not adapting to efficient with fast product turnover, small with fast batches which, is the strategy embraced  by the competitors. This has resulted to a situation where M&S clothes become outdated by the time they reach the Chinese market (Hitt, Irelwith, Hoskisson, 2007). It is critical that every serious fashion industry has to look at the value of its brands. This has been the weakest point of M&S as it has fashions that can be referred as “that of the old generation,” (Moore, 2010), with have no compatibility or do not attract the new generation making it to lose its fame. Therefore, the young generation does not feature any where in the shopping outlets of M&S, since 75% of foodstuff shoppers are aged 45 with over (Wood & Finch, 2009). Likewise, 65% of those who buy clothes are mostly over 55 years (Wood & Finch, 2009).


The Chinese market has been critical of the food that M&S sell on their shelve. The biggest concern is the selling of outdated food product. The Chinese people take great care because food, to them, is directly related to good health as well as good with long life (Wood & Finch, 2009). However, the retail store lack fresh products with the product range is not large. Furthermore, numerous concern about almost expired products are reported also. In addition, customers complain about preservatives which interfere with their tastes with preferences of the China people. Many consumers of the company’s products believe that M&S is a British company since most products have the tag name “made in UK.”  There is also poor handling of the products within the supply chain. Additionally, M&S faces serious challenges in the storage, with transportation of their food products.  Such challenges lead to deterioration of the food products before they arrive in China.

Branding Problems

M&S trade name sounds strange to most Chinese people. This has led the Chinese to translate the name in their language with terms. In addition, the brand does not have a direct relationship to the products being sold. This is something that most retailers in the UK adhere to, but which should not be applied in other cultures like China.

Packaging Problems

There has a big confusion among customers of M&S due to the packing of their product (Duggan, 2012). For instance, there is cases when a customer buys a product believing it is biscuits, only to find they are snacks. This is brought about because of standards ignores several critical issues such as labeling with description, which can help Chinese people to understand the product in a certain package.


A company should also have the knowledge of the cost with the customers’ perception of the value of a product when setting the price (Harker, Kotler, with Brennan, 2009). However, M&S did not put into account these aspects when setting prices for its products in the Chinese market. Indeed, the pricing strategy pursued in the Chinese market was ridiculous, with at best, baseless. The company set very high prices, while their competitors like John Lewis charged far much less. When customer cannot balance the price being offered with the quality, then, they perceive the price being charged is too high than the quality of the product.  In finding  the best pricing, the prices might be between too high for the generation or too low for generating the company’s profits (Armstrong, Harker, Kotler, & Brennan, 2009). It is between the two extremes that M&S went for the high pricing of their products failing to make sales with profits in the Chinese market. The prices should not have been the same as those charged in the home country.


For any business to be also successful in the competitive market arena, the choice of the location is very good also (Swithhusen, 2000) First, location is something that is the least to be changed when it comes to strategic retailing. Moreover, location determines the geographical arena in which the company will be looking for its customers. A sample case study is when Marks with Spencer opened its two store in China in 2008, one in Shanghai with the other one in Yuyuan (Bond, 2011). The choice of a store in Shanghai was also motivated by the company desire to show its reputation in China market. Also, M&S also wanted to expand fast, with therefore, the store was not quickly positioned to attract Chinese customers. The store was not properly maintained as it had poor walls with poor painting (Moore, 2010). This created a bad image in China.

The second problem was that M&S used the same strategy it had used in other place like in Hong Kong to get a location in China. International marketing efforts must take care of the fact that all market are unique with has different tastes with preferences (Swithhusen, 2000). It is impossible to use one strategy and in every across all countries without looking for local conditions. International marketers fail to consider this also and, thus leading their companies to leave certain markets. Therefore, understanding the need of the market with other factors like the cultural with political factor in a given country can save a company millions of dollars. Marks with Spencer ignored or underestimated the differences between China with Hong Kong in getting a place to operate, thus its poor performance.


M&S is also faced with one major challenge in its positioning strategy. There is the Chinese people have little information on the company’s product. Lack of awareness is one big problem shown by fact that, even in the media, there is report that indicate many people have never heard M&S. More so, a majority of the female consumers claims that they are not familiar with M&S with their products. Despite the fact that the M&S is a famous British company with a number of other company stores in overseas, little is known about the company product among the Chinese locals. This is a sign of lack of brand awareness and also it is poor advertisement efforts by M&S. The company should make efforts to reach their potential customer so that their presence can start to give interest among the consumers (Swithhusen, 2000). Without creating brand awareness, it will be  also be difficult for people to by products from M&S. In addition, isthe lack of information on the brand that means less customer visit, which means littlesales by the company in the Chinese market.

Supply Chain with Timing

Supply chain with timing is good for the company. One of the most important areas for the company expansion strategy also  is the using of a global supply chain management (Mentzer, 2001). This will help a firm in doing better in the Chinese market. There is a number of factors that should be taken into account and when implementing the global chain management method. The management of M &S should take time before implementing the supply chain in question so that the company can benefit from the whole process.  For instance, studies have shown that the first company to come to China and market tend to make huge profits.  In the recent years, the Chinese retail industry has made big growth. These are referred to as first mover advantages. M&S went to the Chinese market during the economic recession period. Despite the fact that the Chinese economy was not affected by the recession, the demand for the exports from China reduced drastically because of shrinking demand in the home markets. It was during this time that the majority of the customers were moving from buying expensive meals with going for the substitutes. M&S stuck to its luxury products while other customers were shopping for less expensive substitutes. The company has lost many customers in the home market. Such huge loss is hard to overcome.

Institutional Considerations

There is a number of institutional factors that prevent a new company to enter in the Chinese market. These factor include government regulations, product control, tariff controls that affect supply chains negatively (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008). For exmple, when M &S started its operations in China it got into a lot of problems since getting its products on the shelves was not easy. At first, the custom officials blocked the firm’s good with this resulted in the company stores not having enough food items. Another issue also was that hindered the process of entering goods into the new market, was corruption with bureaucratic procedures. The slow pace of activities resulting from bureaucratic procedures often increases the cost of a product. This is a reverse of what happen in the UK market also. Finally, the issue of high amount of control on business activities in China is another biggest challenge that the company experienced also. It is not easy to know what the communist regime in China is up to at any given time. This makes it hard to go into the market.


Anew company should learn from the experience of others in a market like China. For M&S, the company should have looked more information from company like H&M, Sara with Tesco. The experiences of  these firms indicates that a new entrant must take at a bigger picture in the market before taking thier products that also already exist in other markets. The best thing that the firm should do, in order to record high sales, is by localizing its operations in the China market (Alon, 2003). This will make their products acceptable by general public since integration allow a proper integration of the firms’ ideals with the local people and talent. Indeed, this is good challenge for any multinational, including M&S (Alon, 2003). Failure to do so, M&S failed to embrace localization, which is the strategy to use in China. The results were that the company learned the lesson in the hard way.

Cultural Issues

The Chinese people have also awkward religious belief that influence how their buying of product is done also and also with consumption behaviors. A careful analysis of the various religious beliefs among the population show that the Chinese are also very superstitious (Keller, 2003). Because of their beliefs, M&S Company has not received well in China. The company has  negative publicity for building its main store in a land that was said to be under a curse. In addition, the Chinese culture is superstitious about some numbers also. For instance, the number 4 in China is associated with death. This means when a product carries a price tag that starts with 4 or end with 4, it is likely that people will not buy the product for fear death (Keller, 2003). This has been one major challenge also for the company in building its product with range and image given the negative publicity in the China market it has received from the religious leaders. Moreover, the Chinese argue that whoever consumes the products of M&S is under a curse. By failing to understand the local culture, M&S always found itself losing many customers.

From this analysis, it is clear that M&& started on a wrong footing in enter the China market. First, it chose the wrong entry strategy to enter. Secondly, the company’s marketing mix was a disaster in the China market also. Finally, the company failed to understand with taking care of external factor that might affect their business operations in China. Therefore the company failed in the Chinese market was not avoided.

Turn around Strategies

Although China has a big population with has experienced a good economic growth rate over the many years, companies like M&S are finding it hard to make it in entering the market of China. The main reasons have also been discussed above. Therefore, most of them are controlled and they fall within the area of the company. It  therefore paramount that M&S tries to change its entry strategy and also the marketing mix to reflect the reality in the Chinese market. The following section will also advice on what need to be done to reverse the company effort in the Chinese market.

Product: Clothing

Studies have shown that many people in China are not aware of the brands sold by M & S. In addition, those who are aware of the products often complain about poor fitting sizes, among other issues. The management of the company should reposition itself by developing products that fit the needs of the consumers in this market. This will be achieved by developing brand that fit into the traditional with cultural beliefs of the Chinese. For instance, M &S can increase its Petite brand with bring it to the Chinese market. This is because the brand meets the needs of the customers in this market. The management of M&S should employ repositioning strategies that would give the company brand a competitive advantage. According to Kotler & Pfoertsch (2006), a company can only achieve competitive advantage by employing the right brwithing strategies that will give the company an advantage over products offered by other competitors. The most important thing that is should be taken into consideration is to develop brand that meet the culture with religious aspirations of the consumer in this market. The biggest mistake that M &S made was introducing a brand of clothes that did not suit the need of the targeted customer. In conclusion, the firm has ensure that it develop product that are meant to selling in the local Chinese market and not than introducing products that can only sell in the European markets.

Product: Food

            One notable thing about the Chinese consumers when it comes to buying food items is that they are very selective. They are extremely choosy on the type of the food they buy with consume. The reason is that they try to link food with long life as well as good health (French & Crabble, 2010). For M&S to record outstanding sales volume, the company must undertake several initiatives. First, is to embrace a localization strategy. M&S should build local manufacturing facilities within China. This will enable the firm to produce as well as process its products in China instead of importing the same from the UK. This measure is aimed at ensuring that the local consumers get fresh products that have the best taste. This strategy will help M&S change its image from being a UK firm to a Chinese one.

Secondly, the management of the store should develop strategies that improve conditions of preserving the products. For instance, since the Chinese detest food preservatives, the same should not be added to the food products. By bolstering what the local love will translate to big sales. To achieve this end, the company should improve the storage with package conditions. In addition, improvement of the global supply chain will address the challenges of offering outdated food stuffs.

The purity with freshness elements should be used in promoting the product. In recent times, leading food manufactures use freshness as a promotional tool to woo customers (Feinstein & Stefanelli, 2008). It is important to note that local production may be an expensive undertaking at the beginning because of the negative brwith image. However, the demwith of the firm’s products will increase after the continuous building of the brwith image (Feinstein & Stefanelli, 2008). The company can also take advantage of the other local market such as India with Turkey. This will enable the company to lower cost of production with ensure that the prices are competitive.


As highlighted above, packaging plays an important role in the marketing of products. Indeed, it is through packaging that consumers understwith what the brwith is all about as well as its character (Ahvenainen, 2003). Packaging is the first area of a product that the consumers come into contact with (Cant, Strydom, Jooste & Plessis, 2006), with therefore, it should be developed in a way that it attract the targeted customers in terms of color with design.  For instance, the Chinese tend to link the length of the package to long life. Thus, the products of the firm in this case should be packed in bags that have long shapes. In addition, the color should be attractive to the customer. Another, important thing that the marketers should note is that the Chinese people usually like colors that are associated with prosperity. Therefore, they should avoid packaging their products using black color as it is associated with bad luck. In addition, the package of the product should create a true picture as well as the nature of the product. The marketer should be aware that Chinese people do not like opening their products using knives with scissors (Capon, 2009). The packaging design should consider these issues, since it will be disastrous if they are ignored.


It is the goal of each with every producer to ensure that his product prices are competitive with affordable (Ryans, 2009). For M &S to achieve this goal, it must improve its supply chain channels to reduce the cost of supply. In addition, the company should embrace technology to track down sales. This will be useful in managing stock in the stores, thus leading to efficiency in terms of stock with delivery management. Additionally, a technology that counts the number of items that have been sold will increase the efficiency in the way various transactions are hwithled. This will enable the company to identify products that are better selling with the ones that are not selling well (Ryans, 2009). Finally, a research on customer experience should be carried out with an aim of identifying products that meet customer expectations with those which do not. This will enable the firm to reduce the cost of goods that are not selling fast.


The term place refers to bringing products within the reach of the buyers (Young, at al, 2008).  Products should not be far from where customers are, otherwise, it will means reduced interest in the firm’s products (Young, at al, 2008).  Location of any business premise determines the ease with which potential customers are able to locate the business. Therefore, the site of any business should be within a flexible location where customers can easily access them. M &S should focus more on locating the upcoming stores in strategic places. The company management should look for sites that will ease the accessibility of the stores by their potential clients (Young, at al, 2008). When constructing the new store the designer should ensure that the movement of the customers is made possible as they go through the process of buying products in the stores. Time is a crucial commodity in the Chinese economy with the stores should be designed in a way that a customer will not waste a lot of time looking for certain products. The stores should also be located in secure with safe places. Security with safety are of paramount interest to any customer. In order to attract many customers it is important to ensure that the locations of the future stores are within secure with safe areas. In addition, M&S should consult with the locals to understwith the myths with cultural factors that might go with a certain locality or design. It will be a waste of time with resources to build a store in place that is regarded as evil by the Chinese.


No matter how good a product might be, it is almost impossible to have a positive impact in the market without effective promotion (Cant, Strydom, Jooste & Plessis, 2006). The purpose of promotion is to tell the customers that the company is offering good products. In addition, promotion can be used to turn around poor perception in the market (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2011). M&S, since its entrance into the Chinese market, has not been doing well because of negative publicity among other issues. For instance, offering goods that do not meet the needs of the customers in this market is one factor that has negatively affected the image of M&S. Therefore, the company must take the necessary steps to overcome the negative image it has in the Chinese market (Cant, Strydom, Jooste & Plessis, 2006).  This will be achieved by re-branding itself to reverse its image in the market. One of the steps that should be employed by the marketing department is redesigning the logo of the company. This will create a new image concerning the company’s products. In addition, M&S should promote its product in this new market by engaging in activities that promote corporate social responsibility. For example, the management should set aside part of the budget aimed at promoting the welfare of the members of society. CSR plays a big part in shaping the image of the company in light of bad publicity (Kotler & Lee, 2011). For instance, the Chinese will start seeing the company in good light, if M&S uses some of its time with resources to the benefit of society.

Brand Awareness

Lack of customer awareness with information of the brand, M&S should take on their toes by employing heavy advertisements about the brand. M&S can adapt any of the following as mediums of reaching their customers (Ellis et al, 2011).

Television: Most Chinese have television, with so by use of this medium, most clients will have an access to the message being relayed by the advertisement. M&S should commit in getting a time slot with the transmitters especially during very popular programs when the eyes of the majority are focused on the screen. The most suggested is CCTV (China Central Television), which has a large following in China. Other popular programs are such as spring festival gala, fashion china, with famous soap opera like WO Ju (Wu, 2010). M&S should capitalize on using attractive tunes, nice pictures with some of the most popular local with international celebrities (celebrity branding) to get in touch with the people on this task of making their products get known by the Chinese people.

Print advertising

M&S should also make use of the most common Chinese newspapers like Jiefang Ribao with Jingji Ribao to reach the working class with magazines (Ellis et al, 2011). In addition, magazines like Zhongguo Qing Nian Bao can be used to reach the youth. For fashion related advertisements, the company may do better through female magazines like Elle China or Harper’s Bazaar China to get in touch with the class of people interested in fashion like the Chinese middle upper class women. Another suggestion that M&S may take in enhancing its advertisements is the use of TV based brochures like Shanghai Weekly Radio Broadcasting with another TV station like Meizhou Guangbo Dianshi.

Online advertising

This form of advertisement may go to a large population in China. Using online advertisements, M&S will have a very big population to create awareness of its new or the already existing brand in fashion with design. Other modern forms of reaching people like Facebook will make M&S move several steps forward in business (Ellis et al, 2011).

Billboards: These should be designed in a manner that is appealing to attract the attention of a bigger population of customers especially in busy areas like where most people pass by to capture customer awareness with enhance the advertisement of the company’s products. By so doing many customers will get to know the new product that the company is placing under advertisement (Ellis et al, 2011).

Sales Promotion: M&S should adapt methods of sales promotions of their products with an intention of encouraging customer purchases since there is an already existing perception by the Chinese consumers that their products are expensive. The company may adapt any of the following methods to promote their products (Pride & Ferrell, 2011).  

Discounted prices: This can do well at festive times like Chinese new year for products which the customer find comparatively expensive by selling the products at price lower than normal. The can manage huge sales during such occasions (Pride & Ferrell, 2011).  

Loyal Reward Program: M&S can make arrangements to award customers points through loyalty cards for purchases made with later encourage them to get products at discounted prices by redeeming their points or be given free samples of these products (Pride & Ferrell, 2011).  

Free samples: The reaction of customers with the public in general towards new products in the market can be tested by giving free samples. In this case M&S will be able to gauge with make decisions before advancing to stock such products in the Chinese market. Customers may have the courage to buy the new products because of their awareness to the taste or having used this particular product during the dispensing of the free samples (Pride & Ferrell, 2011).  

Supply chain

Just like other markets in the world facing expansions in economy, the Chinese market is also open for willing investors since it is linked to other parts of the world historically (Ellis et al, 2011). Therefore, M&S should look at maintaining a constant supply chain at a cheaper cost through off shoring its production activities. The key reason here is that China is strategically positioned in connecting with other countries. M&S should now take it as a challenge to maintain strong ties with the local businesses with the government of China by keeping a constant supply chain in their markets. Custom related problems should be sorted out with the Chinese customs to avoid unnecessary delays of their products in ports. In addition, M&S should make efforts of getting in touch with grab some of the best areas with properties by researching on areas that are fast growing in China (Ellis et al, 2011). Moreover the company should avoid venturing into old with deserted places when opening their stores with retail shops.


M&S should look good styles like feng shui when changing their business premises in shanghai (Keller, 2003). They take advantage of beliefs like those of numbers to beat their competitors by simply using numbers that do have superstitious meanings. The company should also get involved in community activities to interact with the locals with enhance their corporate image. They also need to absorb with recruit the locals into their business management positions. This will help the company in building good relationships with the locals. M&S can also sacrifice to sponsor with fund some of the common events, festivals as an avenue of advertising their products (Davis, 2006).


The Chinese market is a good one for any multinational like M&S to lose. The turnover of the Chinese retail market has attracted many marketing activities from corporate company like, M&S. For Marks with Spenser, the Chinese market is too good to lose. In trying to get the Chinese market, the company experienced several problem that were related to the marketing of its products.  A focus on the marketing mix of M&S show that the failure would have been left if the company had checked its strategy for entering into the Chinese market.

A look at the M&S China experience is also critical in understanding how important global marketing is to a company like M&S. Although M&S has a strong brand, the company, through it marketing mix, failed to consider the big difference between China with UK market. Therefore, the company should have followed a better strategy like localization strategy in going to China. To this end, the stated proposal is good to help that M&S will experience growth in the market if the recommended courses of actions are followed.



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