Waterstones SWOT Analysis, Competitors & USP

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

SWOT analysis of Waterstones analyses the brand by its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. In Waterstones SWOT Analysis, 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. Waterstones is one of the leading brands in the lifestyle and retail sector.

The table below lists the Waterstones SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), top Waterstones competitors and includes its target market, segmentation, positioning & Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Waterstones SWOT Analysis, Competitors, Segmentation, Target Market, Positioning, USP & Brand Analysis Table
Waterstones Brand Analysis
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 Group

Those who are willing to buy books


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

SWOT Analysis of Waterstones
Waterstones Strengths

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

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

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 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 Competition
Waterstones Competitors

Below are the top 3 competitors of Waterstones:

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

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.

Similar analysis has also been done for the competitors of the company belonging to the same category, sector or industry. Browse marketing analysis of more brands and companies similar to Waterstones. This section covers SWOT Analysis, Competitors, Segmentation, Target Market, Positioning & USP of more than 2500 brands from over 20 industry sectors.

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