How To Carry Out a Retail SWOT Analysis

Retail SWOT Analysis for Retail Management Recruitment

Retail Operation, Luxury Retail, Head Office Appointments...

Welcome to our Guide to carrying out a Retail SWOT Analysis

Have you applied for a job in Retail Management?  If so, you may well be asked by your prospective employer to prepare a SWOT Analysis.  Even if you haven’t been asked to prepare a SWOT Analysis as part of the retail recruitment process, you might decide to be proactive and prepare one anyway. It’s a great way to show an employer your research skills and demonstrate a good understanding of the business. It can also convey just how keen you are to join the organisation.  

If you’re a little unsure about what a Retail SWOT Analysis should entail or you’ve got a good idea but want confirmation that you’re on the right path, read on!


What is a Retail SWOT Analysis?

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The important thing to remember here is that you need to apply the analysis to the specific store you are attending a retail job interview for.  



Here you should be looking for things that set the business, and that store specifically, apart from the competition




Here you need to focus on areas of improvement that are within a store’s control and have an impact on the store internally.  Don’t worry about appearing too negative here. If you can accurately identify the weaknesses, you’ll then have a good basis to help identify Opportunities




Don’t forget to link back to Weaknesses. These are areas that could improve commercial revenue.




Here you’re looking for external factors that might affect the store - for example competitors in the area, the store’s location, nearby roadworks etc.


What format should the Retail SWOT Analysis take?

A SWOT analysis for a retail management job could take the format of a PowerPoint presentation or could just be a set of bullet points for you to go through during your interview. Bear in mind that although an employer will want to see your ability to highlight the key points, you need to have plenty of commentary and detail to go alongside this. Your interviewer will want to see that you are capable of multi-level analysis.

When carrying out any SWOT Analysis, it pays to be both realistic and rigorous. Try to stay away from sweeping statements and instead use quantifiable information. If you come up with a long list of factors, it’s best to pare these down and prioritise them. You want to make sure you’re spending your time thinking about the most significant factors affecting the store.


What skills will your Retail SWOT Analysis test?


Remember that a SWOT Analysis is a great opportunity for showing a prospective employer your commercial awareness and understanding of the market they operate in. Make sure that during your commentary you pass comment on the costs and challenges of implementing the improvements you are putting forward.

A retail employer will often be looking for some evidence of innovation. Make sure that your analysis demonstrates your ability to come up with new ideas.

We can’t stress highly enough the importance of dedicating enough time and thought to the SWOT Analysis if you are interviewing  for a retail management job. At the end of the day it could end up being the difference between getting the role and the employer selecting a different candidate.

C2 Recruitment is celebrating 10 years success in Retail Recruitment this year. C2 specialises in retailhospitality and leisure recruitment and all of our consultants have sector specific backgrounds.  If you contact C2 today you’ll be assigned a consultant with direct experience in your sector – someone who really has walked in your shoes!