The case is written using secondary data sources (namely, research documents, press information, journal articles and published interviews). Publicly declared company information has further been leveraged to augment case facts. All information sources have been duly acknowledged in the reference section.
The case is written in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the Indian retail industry, revolving around scenarios in which a multinational retailer has to decide on its long- and short-term strategy in such an economic crisis. The case story has been developed around Marks and Spencer’s retail venture in the Indian market. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting business at various levels, with countries moving to lock down and economies shrinking to recessionary levels, one of the worst affected sectors is retail. The teaching case builds upon Mark and Spencer’s initial decision of not entering and extending its food/grocery business in India. While it remained a dominant player in Indian fashion retail for almost two decades, it needs to re-think its decision of entering food retail owing to a pandemic situation affecting its offline sales/store footfall and increasing competition from global fashion brands such as Zara and H&M that had flooded the Indian fashion retail sector. The case provides a context for students to perform environmental factor and competitor analysis for a sector, with special focus on decision making in a changing crisis scenario.
Complexity academic level
This case could be used in undergraduate and MBA classroom programme, across subjects such as retail management, marketing management, international business, international business environment and strategic business management. This case fits while discussing topics such as business environmental factors, competitor analysis, decision-making under crisis, market entry decision, omnichannel retail strategy, consumer behaviour and brand management.
Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.
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