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Financial Ventures of Marks and Spencer

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sayantanghosal
Words 794
Pages 4

When we hear about Marks and Spencer, the first thing that comes to our mind is its headquarter in the city of Westminster, London. Frankly speaking, regardless whether it is a subconscious action or not, Marks and Spencer is more related to clothes and food products than anything else, at least for its normal consumers. With 703 stores in United Kingdom alone along with more than 400 stores spread across 40 countries worldwide, it is truly one of the biggest retail giants the world will ever come across. Founded in the year 1884 My Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds, the company has surely received its highs and lows, but the act of venturing out in different section of industry has still not stopped – and history will tell how the organization has grown to leaps and bounds over the past century.

In this brief essay, however, we will attempt to look into the financial wing of the comoany, and try to trace the evolution of the service which the relatively young division offers, in a proper timeline format.

The year 1985 – St. Michael Financial Service is launched. Starting with 8 staff, the comapnay launched its forst service, the Chargecard. Three years later, in 1988, the company decides to change its name to Marks and Spencer Financial Service Limited. Next year onwards, the comay starts giving out Personal loans. The service is instantly a hit, and is one of the most sought after service offered by Marks and Spencer.

The most important benefit of M&S Personal loan is that you can literally use the money wherever and however you want to, and the borrowing limit is also set to a whopping £25,000. Surprisingly enough, if the market is thoroughly studied, M&S, regardless of whether this is a strategic ploy or not, kept its interest rate lower than much of its competitor, thus actually gaining the fancy of the mass. The repayment period of M&S Personal loans is also comfortable – one gets an extended time period to repay, and the process of repayment starts after three months after the date of borrowing. Another great service offered is the Quick Apply form – one gets response, and comes to know whether their application has been rejected or accepted within 48 hours, and the application can today be done online or over phone.

Cut to the year 2000. M&S starts shelling out Car buying plan and home and contents insurance, and as ever, the service becomes a smash hit. Two years later, in 2002, travel ad pet insurance is launched. Now, the per insurance started with two plans – premiere and standard cover, and people could choose between them according to their requirements – the amount of problems covered, that is. The most unique feature of this service was and still is, that the vet’s fee is also covered under the plan. If one is worried about the pet’s general health, they can call the customer care of M&S, and get the recommendation of the vet. This cost is also covered by tye policy. Apart from this, other great features are emergency medical care, and cover against theft.

The years 2003 and 2004 were hugely eventful at M&S. M&S Financial service changed its name to M&S Money in the year 2003. in the same year, M&S credit card is launched along with the loyalty service. In the very next year 2004, Philip Green of the Arcadia Group tries to takeover the company. In July 2004, a recovery plan was announced, followed by the selling of the financial wing of M&S to HSBC Bank. Philip Green thus had to back off from his plan, as he failed to gather sufficient funds from shareholders.

After entering into a 50:50 partnership with HSBC, M&S, in the same year, launches its version of the already popular Car insurance. It was truly the most extensive cover from the very inception, and gave all kinds of facilities like breakdown cover, along with legal protection, and even covers for personal belongings. Legal protection was one of those unique features that brought in more and more buyers – these are really important if the car faces an accident or other mishaps. A cover for personal accident was also covered under the same plan along with a 24 hour claim facility. The genious of business people that the M&S are, they also introduced a service where they offered an optional car to the consumer of their insurance, which they can use if their car broke down or if they met with an accident. Surely a gimmick, but again, the plan worked pretty well in their favor.

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