Big Lots SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)

Since the company’s establishment, Big Lots has been on the frontline of being one of the most successful closeout stores in the American retail industry.

Due to its continuous successful operations, most people are interested in the store’s SWOT analysis. Read on if you after a detailed Big Lots SWOT analysis.

What Is Big Lots’ SWOT Analysis In [currentyear]?

Big Lots’ SWOT analysis highlights its strengths in creating a strong brand name, maintaining affordability, offering a wide product portfolio, and so much more in [currentyear]. However, the analysis also points out the company’s weaknesses in inconsistency and high employee turnover rates. Additionally, the SWOT analysis provides opportunities in e-commerce amidst threats such as aggressive competition.

If you want to find more about Big Lots’ SWOT analysis, including detailed descriptions of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, keep reading!

What Are Big Lots’ Strengths?

Big Lots’ strengths in the company’s SWOT analysis include internal factors that help the company achieve its short-term and long-term goals.

Big Lots’ strengths include the following:

  • Strong brand name
  • Affordability
  • Strong distribution network
  • Strategic positioning of stores
  • Wide product portfolio

Let’s examine these strengths in further detail:

1. Strong Brand Name

Over the years, Big Lots has invested in building a strong brand image. Currently, the company is recognized as America’s largest closeout store.

The solid brand name increases the company’s popularity among consumers, which yields customer loyalty and retention.

2. Affordability

Big Lots maintains a pricing strategy that attracts more customers as a closeout retailer.

The company purchases various products at discounted prices (primarily as clearance sales) and passes the benefits to its customers.

Hence, most products sold at Big Lots are relatively cheaper than products sold at typical retail stores.

3. Strong Distribution Network

Big Lots operations in 47 states in the US are largely supported by a strong distribution network, ensuring that products reach consumers on time.

Additionally, Big Lots maintains strong relations with suppliers to ensure business continuity to maintain the distribution network.

4. Strategic Positioning of Stores

The strategic positioning of Big Lots stores in different regions acts as one of the company’s major strengths.

This aspect enables the company’s reach to the target market and ensures accessibility.

In some instances, Big Lots has relocated some underperforming stores to improve company profits and reduce losses.

5. Wide Product Portfolio

Big Lots has maintained a broad product portfolio that helps the company expand its customer base, and offset losses from one product category with the profits obtained from another.

Big Lots’ merchandise categories include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Furniture
  • Mattresses
  • Patio & garden
  • Home décor
  • Home storage items
  • Bed & bath
  • Groceries
  • Toys
  • Apparel

What Are Big Lots’ Weaknesses?

The weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of Big Lots highlight the factors that limit the company’s ability to reach its short-term and long-term goals.

These weaknesses often arise from internal strategies and can be mitigated to enhance the company’s operations and increase profits.

The major weaknesses of Big Lots include the following:

  • No guarantee of same products
  • High employee turnover rates
  • Issues arising from quality control processes

Let’s look at these weaknesses in further detail:

1. No Guarantee of Same Products

Since Big Lots’ business model is based on selling overstocked products, the company may not get a guarantee of a continuous supply of the same products or brands.

There are high chances that the company may not get an identical product in the market.

 Even though the lack of guarantee is not the company’s fault, it is disadvantageous to its loyal customers.

2. High Employee Turnover Rates

Big Lots has been marked to have high employee turnover rates, compared to its other competitors.

As a result, the company spends a lot of resources on training, since employees keep leaving its employ.

The high turnover rates may result in a high workload per staff member, which reduces productivity within the company.

Moreover, the high employee turnover rate also injures the company’s image among the masses, which may cause some customers to shop elsewhere.

3. Issues Arising From Quality Control Processes

Big Lots has a low budget for quality control processes. As a result, there is a lack of consistency in the company’s product offerings and a possibility of damage to quality.

Furthermore, several customers have reported the expiration of some goods or items, like makeup and groceries being close to their expiration, which harms the company’s image.

What Are Big Lots’ Opportunities?

What Are Big Lots’ Opportunities?

Big Lots opportunities in the retail industry include the external factors that provide the company an avenue to increase business operations and profits.

The opportunities present themselves in the market and can benefit Big Lots if the company acts on them. Big Lots’ opportunities include the following:

  • Increasing e-commerce footprints
  • Penetration into new markets
  • Improve layout of existing stores

Let’s look at these opportunities in further detail:

1. Increasing E-Commerce Footprints

Big Lots can increase its business operations by increasing its e-commerce footprints.

In recent years, there has been an increase in online shopping, with more customers ditching the traditional forms of brick-and-mortar shopping.

Due to this online surge, Big Lots can gain high profits by investing heavily in its online channel.

2. Penetration Into New Markets

Although Big Lots is present in nearly all American states, it can increase its physical presence by establishing more stores within the States.

Big Lots also has the opportunity to revive its international business operations and penetrate foreign markets.

3. Improve Layout of Existing Stores

Improving the company’s layout can help increase business operations since creative store designs often attract most customers.

Big Lots can improve its outlook and upgrade its traditional method of arranging products.

Furthermore, the store can reinforce security measures and improve parking, cafeteria, and cash withdrawal facilities to attract more customers.

What Are the Threats Facing Big Lots?

Big Lots’ threats within the retail industry include all external factors that could potentially hinder the company’s progress within the industry.

As potential factors that downsize the company’s operation, Big Lots should strategize on mitigating the threats.

Currently, Big Lots faces the following threats:

  • Intense competition
  • Political uncertainties
  • Increase in bargaining power suppliers

Let’s look at these threats in further detail:

1. Intense Competition

Big Lots is facing aggressive competition from other retailers in the American market.

Even though the company prides itself in being a cost leader, several other retailers have jumped to the cost leadership strategy to attract more customers.

These competitors increase promotional activities and utilize technological developments to improve their service to consumers.

2. Political Uncertainties

Since Big Lots relies on suppliers worldwide, political uncertainties in different countries may injure business operations, leading to unnecessary costs.

3. Increase in Bargaining Power Suppliers

Over the years, the bargaining powers of some suppliers have increased, since there has been a decreased number of suppliers.

As a result, Big Lots may have to purchase items at higher prices and adjust the previous items’ pricing.

If the company doesn’t follow suit, Big Lots may run losses due to thinner profit margins.

To learn more, you can also read our posts about who owns Big Lots, what is Big Lots, and why is Big Lots so cheap.


Big Lots’ SWOT analysis reveals success factors that increase the company’s profits and factors that limit the company’s operations.

The success factors include the company’s strengths, such as keeping an extensive product portfolio, while the limitations include the company’s weaknesses and threats.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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