The De-Globalization of Marks & Spencer in 2001: An Update

By Robert Burgelman, Philip Meza
2001 | Case No. SM87
The venerable British retailer Marks & Spencer suffered a series of setbacks in the late 1990s. The company’s performance, which had been solid for decades, quickly deteriorated, forcing the rapid turnover of chief executives and many restructurings. Perhaps the largest change the retailer made was the abandonment of its global expansion plans, withdrawing from continental Europe and trying to sell-off assets in the U.S., including the well-known clothiers Brooks Brothers. The case examines the changes Marks & Spencer made between 1998 and 2001, as the company tries to shore up its ailing core business, UK retail, while deciding on an appropriate global strategy.
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