In UK, the unseasonal weather in 2014 and 2015 has significantly reduced customers’ cloth purchasing. In such increasingly competitive and overcrowded UK clothing market, UK clothing retailers have utilized promotions to grab market share and shift stock, which eventually result in acceleration in deflation rates (Academic.mintel.com, 2015). In such market background, Marks & Spencer, the biggest UK clothing retailer, recorded a 1.5% drop in their clothing sales, and the market share of M&S continued the decreasing trend from 2006. As shown in figure 1, from 2006 to 2014, M&S’s UK clothing market share dropped 2.2%.
Reflected from the lately research and news, in order to gain back market share and further improvement, M&S faces multiple supply chain and logistics problems. Among them, the main three are: 1. Poor performance of agility in M&S’s supply chain. 2. Ethical issues. 3. Poor performance of M&S e-commerce and home delivery. This report will focus on illustrate and approve significance of these three main supply chain and logistics related issues, and carry out practicable solutions to these challenges.
Figure 1, Marks & Spencer’s share of spending on clothing and footwear, 2006-14. Adopted from: Academic.mintel.com, 2015.
2. Three main supply chain and Logistics Challenges
2.1 Poor performance of agility in M&S’s supply chain
The lack of agility in M&S’s supply chain was significantly resulted by their supplier sourcing strategy and supplier relationship management. According to (Castelli and Brun, 2010), as the fashion industry has changed from a manufacturer-push to a demand-pull system, clothing retailers increase their utilization on outsourcing supply chain and logistics functions to concentrate o...
... middle of paper ...
...nsport. Furthermore, different hub may be allocated for different roles. For instance, M&S can build a hub in Europe focuses on cost and agility advantages, and build a hub in Far East representing lean supply model for basic products.
To sum up, in order to achieve modernisation and gain back UK clothing market share, M&S has to take activities on solving challenges of poor performance of supply chain agility and logistics distribution. This report recommends that in order to increase supply chain flexibility and responsiveness, M&S should take actions on improving collaborations with key suppliers and upgrade its information systems. It is also advised that full package intermediaries and NGOs can be great partners for M&S on solving ethical issues. At last, this report recommends M&S use 3PL to achieve a quick distribution performance improvement.
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