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Big Lots (SWOT Analysis)

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“SWOT is an acronym for the internal Strengths and Weaknesses of a firm and the environmental Opportunities and Threats facing that firm. SWOT analysis is a widely used technique through which managers create a quick overview of a company’s strategic situation. The technique is based on the assumption that an effective strategy derives from a sound “fit” between a firm’s internal resources (strengths and weaknesses) and its external situation (opportunities and threats). A good fit maximizes a firm’s strengths and opportunities and minimizes its weaknesses and threats. Accurately applied, this simple assumption has powerful implications for the design of a successful strategy.”

Big Lots

Big Lots is a broad line closeout retailer. Being a closeout retailer, the company generally purchases most merchandise at lower costs and offers the same at lower prices than those paid and offered by traditional discount retailers. The company primarily operates in the US. It is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio and employs about 37,000 people; this figure includes part-time employees.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Location of Factor






  • One of the largest broad line closeout retailers in the US
  • Pricing advantage
  • Strengthened distribution capabilities


  • Involvement in a labor lawsuit
  • Frequent product recalls would hamper brand image



  • New and improved store layouts in 2009
  • Closure of underperforming stores
  • Online spending in the US projected to grow in 2009


  • Economic recession in the US would dampen sales
  • Increased minimum wages in the US would increase operating costs
  • Risks associated with international trade
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