The Case Centre’s top 40 bestselling cases

Eleventh place - Marks and Spencer
The case
Case: Marks and Spencer and Zara: Process Competition in the Textile Apparel Industry Shouldice Hospital Ltd.
Authors: Michael Pich, Ludo Van der Heyden and Nicolas Harlé
Institution: INSEAD
Ref: 602-010-1
Date published: 2002

This case is not about a simple dichotomy between a young, innovative competitor and an ageing glory. Its purpose is to illustrate the importance of business process design as a basis for competition in the textile industry.

The case describes the impressive performance of Zara, the new fashion player from Spain, whose innovations in process design enabled them to deliver new collections into its stores with a lead-time of five to seven days. This is contrasted with the more traditional approach to textile retailing taken by Marks and Spencer (M&S), the well-known UK retailer. The case is suitable for both executive education and MBA core classes on process and operations management.

The authors

Michael Pich is a Senior Affiliate Professor of Operations Management and Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, INSEAD.

Ludo Van der Heyden is Professor of Technology and Operations Management, Mubadala Chaired Professor in Corporate Governance, and Strategy Academic Director, INSEAD

Nicolas Harlé is a Partner and Managing Director in BCG's (The Boston Consulting Group) Paris Office.

Share this page:

Celebrating our first 40 years


We’re celebrating our 40th year as the only global, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the case method and sharing our world-leading expertise in case teaching, writing and learning.

We’d love hear from you as we roll out our programme of events to mark this special anniversary year. Share your experiences of case teaching or writing, or tell us about your first impressions if you’re new to the case method.

You can also join our growing international community on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or enjoy the benefits of becoming one of our valued members.

Here’s to the next 40 years!