Waterstones SWOT Analysis, Competitors & USP

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: April 26, 2020

Waterstones SWOT analysis evaluates the brand by its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. In SWOT Analysis of Waterstones, the strengths and weaknesses are the internal factors whereas opportunities and threats are the external factors.

SWOT Analysis is a proven management framework which enables a brand like Waterstones to benchmark its business & performance as compared to the competitors, and make strategic improvements. Waterstones is one of the leading brands in the lifestyle and retail sector.

The article below lists the Waterstones SWOT, competitors and includes its target market, segmentation, positioning & USP. Let us start the Waterstones SWOT Analysis:

SWOT Analysis of Waterstones

For Waterstones, SWOT analysis can help the brand focus on building upon its strengths and opportunities while addressing its weaknesses as well as threats to improve its market position.

Waterstones Strengths

The strengths of Waterstones looks at the key aspects of its business which gives it competitive advantage in the market. Some important factors in a brand's strengths include its financial position, experienced workforce, product uniqueness & intangible assets like brand value. Below are the Strengths in the SWOT Analysis of Waterstones :

1. Leading bookseller in UK with close to 300 stores
2. Strategic tie ups with e-commerce companies
3. Rapid expansion across various localities and 4500+ employees
4. Enhancing readership by obtaining concession agreements with Starbucks, Costacoffee etc and later started its own Café W Brand

5. Received numerous awards and thus enhancing its own credibility among its customers

6. In-store marketing and merchandizing initiatives make the brand stand out of the crowd

7. Ventured into e-books and e-shopping platform

8. Huge brand recognition and brand identity in the places where the stores are present

Waterstones Weaknesses

The weaknesses of a brand are certain aspects of its business which are it can improve to increase its position further. Certain weaknesses can be defined as attributes which the company is lacking or in which the competitors are better. Here are the weaknesses in the Waterstones SWOT Analysis:

1. Less offers/discounts compared to e-commerce counterparts
2. Not much expanded globally 
3. Number of people visiting the store would be reduced with increasing use of technology and Internet which is a concern

Waterstones Opportunities

The opportunities for any brand can include areas of improvement to increase its business. A brand's opportunities can lie in geographic expansion, product improvements, better communication etc. Following are the opportunities in Waterstones SWOT Analysis:

1. Leverage more on its digital/e-book space
2. Expand globally into the potential untapped market/economies
3. Strategic tie ups with shopping malls, schools etc

Waterstones Threats

The threats for any business can be factors which can negatively impact its business. Some factors like increased competitor activity, changing government policies, alternate products or services etc. can be threats. The threats in the SWOT Analysis of Waterstones are as mentioned:

1. Increasing readership of e-books where the company didn’t make a strong presence
2. Increasing second hand book seller shops 
3. Discounts/offers offered by e-commerce book sellers

Waterstones Competitors

There are several brands in the market which are competing for the same set of customers. Below are the top 3 competitors of Waterstones:

1. Foyles
2. WHSmith
3. Blackwell’s bookshop

Hence this concludes the Waterstones SWOT analysis.

Continue reading more about the brand/company.

About Waterstones

Waterstones Overview
Parent Company

A&NN Capital Fund Management




Lifestyle and Retail

Tagline/ Slogan

Your local bookshop


Each Waterstone outlet sells books prominent and useful for that particular locality

Waterstones STP

Customers including wide range of age groups and income

Target Market

Those who are willing to buy books


Place to hang around with friends, sit and have coffee and read/buy books

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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