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Waterstones SWOT Analysis

Published by MBA Skool Team in Lifestyle and Retail category Last Updated: October 11, 2023Read time:

Here is a detailed SWOT analysis of Waterstones covering strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Waterstones Strengths

  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

Above are the strengths in the SWOT Analysis of Waterstones. The strengths of Waterstones looks at the key internal factors of its business which gives it competitive advantage in the market and strengthens its position.

Waterstones Weaknesses

  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

These were the weaknesses in the Waterstones SWOT Analysis. The weaknesses of a brand are certain aspects of its business which it can improve.

Waterstones Opportunities

  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

Above we covered the opportunities in Waterstones SWOT Analysis. The opportunities for any brand can include prospects of future growth.

Waterstones Threats

  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

The threats in the SWOT Analysis of Waterstones are as mentioned above. The threats for any business can be external factors which can negatively impact its business.

Hence this concludes the Waterstones SWOT analysis.

About Waterstones

The table below gives the brand overview along with its target market, segmentation, positioning & USP

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 which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. 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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