7 SWOT Analysis Examples of Leading Real Companies

The Competitive Analysis Kit

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Writing a business plan?

Want to turn your business into a solid success? Well, SWOT analysis could be the first step to help you get there.

The acronym SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This strategic planning tool assesses the strengths of a business or project, identifies potential roadblocks, and assists you in developing effective business strategies.

SWOT is crucial for businesses to build their unique competitive edge and to identify potential development opportunities. And while conducting SWOT may sound intimidating, it actually isn’t.

These 7 SWOT analysis examples of thriving US companies will offer practical insight and guide you to create your own SWOT analysis.

Let’s get started.

1. The Home Depot

Founded on 6th February 1978, The Home Depot, Inc. is the world’s largest home improvement retailer headquartered in Atlanta, GA. It sells building materials and home improvement products such as tools, hardware items, lawn and garden equipment, etc. The company also offers instrumentation services as well as rents tools and equipment.

the home depot swot analysis example

Strengths

The Home Depot (or Home Depot, as commonly known) is the leader in the home improvement industry and occupies a dominant portion of the market. It’s well-established and has a powerful brand image. It sells products at a profitable margin without compromising quality, providing value for money for the customers.

Its ‘Buy Online Pickup In-Store’ (BOPIS) strategy is a huge hit. It offers a wide range of products from home decor to hardware.

Weaknesses

Home Depot has over 2000 stores, most of which are in North America; this limits the company from exploiting opportunities in other parts of the world. As it was established in 1978, most of the infrastructure is old and the owners are trying to renovate it.

Most companies started selling online long before the Covid-19 pandemic, but Home Depot adopted this tactic only after the pandemic hit. Hence, losing growth opportunities.

Opportunities

The company can exploit new opportunities by expanding to other countries, increasing online sales, and focusing more on the sustainable home decor section—which has significant growth potential.

Threats

Home Depot is facing rapid growth in competition, especially in the eCommerce segment. To tackle this, the company needs to diversify its selling strategies.

The company is highly vulnerable to changes in the external environment. Fluctuations in prices of raw materials such as lumber can result in a significant revenue drop.

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2. Subway

Founded in 1965, Subway is a Connecticut-based fast food restaurant franchise known for its submarine sandwiches (subs), salads, and beverages. The food giant became popular in 2002 and now has outlets in 100+ countries.

subway swot analysis example

Strengths

Subway has the highest number of outlets compared to its competitors. As of 2023, it had over 36,000+ outlets worldwide. It’s also the third in terms of brand loyalty and is considered to be healthier than McDonald’s and KFC.

What makes Subway a favorite amongst its customers is its customizable menu options catering to the diverse customer preferences and their dietary requirements.

Weaknesses

Even though Subway has the highest number of outlets, it’s not the most preferred restaurant. It stands in second place while McDonald’s is first. As it follows a franchise model, the service is highly variable, and therefore customer satisfaction fluctuates. Subway restaurant themes are old and out of fashion and need to be updated.

Opportunities

Subway can position itself as a healthier fast food brand by introducing healthier menu options. It can also add more variety of food instead of sticking to its iconic subs. Subway needs to improve its home delivery and drive-through services.

Threats

Along with its major competitors, Subway also faces competition from new restaurants with Subway-like business models. There have been several lawsuits against it for serving stale and unhealthy food; this can tremendously affect the brand image.

3. Rite Aid

Founded in 1962 by Alex Grass, Rite Aid Corporation is a Pennsylvania-based company that operates a chain of retail drugstores. It has two segments of services including, retail pharmacy and pharmacy Services.

The company sells over-the-counter medications in its Retail Pharmacy segment. It offers pharmacy benefit management (PBM) like mail delivery services, technology solutions, specialty pharmacies, etc., in its Pharmacy Services segment.

rite aid swot analysis example

Strengths

Rite Aid is the third-largest drugstore retail chain in the US. It has an impressive online presence which makes it convenient for customers to buy products online. It also has a strong loyalty program in place to retain customers.

Weaknesses

The company’s market share has seen a decline due to its inability to tackle emerging challenges. Rite Aid’s financial plan is inefficient due to which the company has huge long-term debt on top of operational losses.

Moreover, their presence is limited to certain regions of the USA, thereby restricting their growth.

Opportunities

The company has strong sales on the East and West coasts. Expanding across the country seems like a perfect opportunity. Additionally, Rite Aid can consider increasing its offerings of healthcare services to capture a wider market. For instance, offering telemedicine services.

Threats

The pace of technological advancement is a threat if the company doesn’t find a way to cope with it. Additionally, many employees are resigning from the company resulting in a lack of qualified human resources. This can create a shortage of staff.

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4. General Motors

Founded in 1908 by William C. Durant, General Motors is an American Detroit-based automobile company. It’s one of the world’s largest car manufacturing companies and ranks first in the US. It also provides financing services through its General Motor Financial company.

general motors swot analysis example

Strengths

General Motors has a strong brand reputation in its industry. The automobile giant has one of the most loyal customer bases. It has been enrolled in the US Environmental Protection Agency since 2010. The company has also consistently received the annual ‘Energy Star’ certification given its high operational efficiency.

Currently, there are 10 brands under GM, ranging from Chevrolet to Cadillac and Opel. It has the strongest brand portfolio and the lowest recalls per 1000 vehicles sold.

Weaknesses

Despite its occupancy in the global market, General Motors has a limited presence in some developing countries. Adding to that, the company is overly dependent on the US market.

Nearly 82.3% of the company’s annual revenue comes from the US market. However, its revenue is heavily reliant on the sales of SUVs and pickup trucks.

General Motors also seems to have a diluted brand image despite being the second-largest auto manufacturer in the world.

Opportunities

There’s an increasing demand for electric and automated vehicles. Due to technological advancements and environmental implications, this is an inevitable next step for the company. Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, is testing GM’s line of self-driving cars.

Threats

The pandemic-driven global recession led to a 43.3% drop in sales in China. Not only that, the industrial trend in the US suggests a decline in the growth of the automobile sector in the coming years.

The company also has several issues with labor. In 2018, 34 plant operations were halted due to labor strikes.

5. LA Fitness

LA Fitness is an American chain of gyms headquartered in California. It’s one of the most popular gym chains in the US, with over 700 gyms across the US and Canada. It was established in 1983 by Chin Yi and later partnered with Louis Welch in 1984.

If LA Fitness plans to introduce dietary supplements, it could conduct a SWOT analysis before launch similar to the one mentioned below:

la fitness swot analysis example

Strengths

LA Fitness is geographically diversified and has over 700 gyms across America and Canada. Due to this, introducing a new product can prove to be highly profitable. The company holds loyal customers who may help advocate the new dietary supplements.

Weaknesses

LA Fitness doesn’t have any experience creating dietary supplements. So there can be an initial hesitation in the buyers because of the company’s lack of expertise. Apart from that, the company is inadequate in its customer service.

Opportunities

Its reliable customer base will help the company drive sales when the dietary supplements are out in the market. This will help the company with word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM).

Threats

The market has many existing competitors, so this can be a threat to the company. LA Fitness needs to ensure that the product caters to the customers’ requirements perfectly. To have a competitive edge, the company can conduct a customer analysis.

6. Walmart

Walmart is an American Multination retail company that owns and operates 10,000+  hypermarkets globally. It works with a motto of providing products at the lowest costs, anytime and anywhere.

From groceries to clothing, electronics, and household appliances —Walmart’s hypermarkets offer everything under one roof. Quite recently, the company has also started expanding its service offerings digitally and has further plans for expansion.

walmart swot analysis example

Strength

Walmart is a well-recognized brand globally, especially in the regions of the US, Canada, Japan, Korea, and China. People regard it as a brand that offers qualitative products at the most cost-effective rates. Well, its efficient supply chain management and dealings in large economies can be accredited for creating this brand image.

Walmart continues to enter new marketplaces and offer an extensive range of products and services to cater to the needs of a vast category of people. This means the company continues to earn revenue from multiple streams.

Weaknesses

Although Walmart has spread its wings globally, it’s mainly concentrated in the US. Nearly 45% of Walmart stores worldwide are located in the US, thereby increasing its reliance on the US economy. Moreover, the company is still struggling to find its presence online, while the competitors have been doing tremendously well.

Additionally, the company has time and again been questioned for its unethical labor practices. This affects Walmart’s image as an ethical company.

Opportunities

Walmart can leverage its brand reputation and enter the eCommerce segment with utmost force. This way it can easily capture the global marketplace. In terms of physical stores, the company needs to diversify and find its way in Asian, African, and Australian countries.

Additionally, Walmart can focus on including eco-friendly and sustainable products in its portfolio of offerings.

Threats

Walmart faces intense competition from large retailers like Amazon, Costco, and Target. Not only are these companies competing through offline stores, but they have a remarkable online presence as well.

Additionally, consumer preferences are changing rapidly. Today the customers won’t mind spending extra bucks to get eco-friendly or sustainable products. The lack of such options makes them choose other retail stores.

7. Netflix

Netflix is among the leading over-the-top video streaming platforms globally. Established in 1997, Netflix’s business strategy was to sell DVD rentals. It wasn’t until 2007 that the company started venturing into online streaming services.

Today, Netflix is accessible in 190+ countries in more than 45 different languages. It has sealed landmark deals with leading streaming companies like Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Moreover, quite recently it started producing its own movies and shows as Netflix Originals.

netflix swot analysis example

Strengths

Netflix is a well-positioned global brand with strong recall. Not only USA and Canada, the streaming services are now accessible in more than 190 countries.

Netflix has more than 19,000 content offerings on its platform and it continues to expand by signing new deals with motion houses. The Netflix original shows are turning out to be a huge success and its exclusivity on Netflix platforms is helping the company gain a competitive advantage.

Weaknesses

While Netflix has paved its reach globally, it still needs to strengthen its content library in certain regions. Besides, the company is losing its price effectiveness as the other OTT platforms enter the picture.

Netflix invests heavily in producing new content, signing deals, and getting diversified content on board. However, it’s seeping deep into the debt circle which needs to be considered.

Opportunities

Netflix can work on generating more localized content to increase its relevance amongst people. It can also start experimenting with different content formats like AR, VR, and 3-D experiences while continuously diversifying its content.

Although it’s well-reached across the globe, Netflix can enhance its penetration in nook corners and remote countries.

Threats

The rise of other OTT platforms is a serious threat to Netflix. The company might lose its dominance in online streaming if it fails to evolve.

Moreover, illegal streaming and downloading needs to be regulated else the company may face significant revenue loss. The same can be said for password sharing.

Strengthen your competitive advantage with a SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis helps you get the most realistic understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It assesses the various internal factors and external opportunities and presents you with the competitive advantages of your firm.

An insightful and analytical SWOT analysis is an asset that will help you develop competitive business strategies and a strategic plan.

These examples of SWOT analysis must have offered a practical insight to you. Now, get a SWOT analysis template or simply an AI SWOT analysis generator and conduct the SWOT for your project or business.

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About the Author

Upmetrics                                                       
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Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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