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The analysts and commentators have become important for the influence they can have on other groups.  Whilst customers are important to the ultimate success of the strategy, their influence is indirect (shop at M & S or not?) and M & S’s strategy is unlikely to be a major concern over the breakfast table.

In terms of managing the process of creating a new strategy at Marks & Spencer, then the new management team'’ major concern must be the major stakeholders.  Unless they can satisfy this major stakeholder group then their job prospects are probably grim.  Even a take-over is not out of the question.  Much management time will need to be devoted into the “selling” of the strategy to this group, perhaps modifying the strategy itself to take on board their concerns.

For most of the other stakeholder groups the priority will be explanation of the strategy and trying to convince groups like the analysts and commentators that they have a good plan for the future.  Managing public relations in general and in particular (for the analysts & commentators) is critical.  As at the time of writing, the evidence of their success in these activities is patchy – with some good news stories about sales successes still being drowned out by other poor performances and disputes about executive performance bonuses for Luc Vandevelde.

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