Detailed SWOT Analysis of Ross Stores – One Of The World’s Largest Bargaining House

Updated on: Jan 11, 2022
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In our previous article, we had done a detailed SWOT Analysis of the astounding brand, Forman Mills. In this article, we are going to break down the SWOT analysis of Ross Stores – the US’s leading discount retailer.

Ross Stores is an apparel and home fashions retailer store chain in America. It sells products at lower prices than other similar stores. It is one of the biggest clothing discount departmental stores as it has over 1,400 shops. Ross Stores is the leading chain that operates under the brand name Ross Stores for Less. They have a trade of clothing & household stuff extending from clothing to houseware accessories. Ross Stores has an exceptionally trustworthy customer base. 

Now here comes the catch like how the idea got implemented and given the profits in starting 3 years. It’s all possible with the marketing efforts. And as the world goes online, marketing is changing and if you are interested in learning about the latest – check out our Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

So if you want to learn how Ross Stores became so successful in the chain of discounts? In this blog, we will learn about the SWOT analysis of Ross Stores and decode the answer. Before we begin, let us learn more about Ross Stores, the company, its founding, products, financial status, and competitors.

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About Ross Stores, 

SWOT Analysis of Ross Stores - Ross Dress for Less

Ross Stores operates wholly by taking under Ross Dress for Less, which is an American chain of discount department stores headquartered in Dublin, California. Ross Stores sells clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewellery, beauty products etc.

Ross Stores journeys begin in 1950 in Pacifica, California, the U.S. where Morris “Morrie” Ross first opened the Ross department store in San Bruno, California. Morris worked 85 hours a week accomplishing all of the buying and bookkeeping for his commercial store. In 1958 Morris sold his store to Willam Isackson to become a residential and commercial real estate builder. 

After that, the company was built by Isackson to 6 different stores situated in San Bruno, Pacifica, Novato, Vacaville, Redwood city, and Castro Valley. Group of investors in 1982, including Mervin Morris, founder of Mervyn’s chain of department stores, purchased the six Ross department stores in San Francisco, changed the format to off-price retail units, and within three years rapidly expanded the chain to 107 stores under Stuart Moldaw and Don Rowlett. Today, Ross department stores are more than 1,523 stores in the U.S.


Quick Stats on Ross Stores
Founder Morris Ross, Bill Isackson
Year Founded 1950
Origin Pacifica, California, the U.S.
No. of Employees 88,100
Company Type Public
Market Cap $36.435 Billion (2021)
Annual Revenue $14.984 Billion (2019)
Net Income/ Profit $1,587 Million (2019)


SWOT Analysis of Ross Stores - Inside Ross Dress for Less

Products of Ross Stores 

Ross Stores is in the retail industry for 4 decades and deals in 

  • Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Bedding
  • Furniture
  • Jewellery
  • Beauty products
  • Toys
  • Housewares

Competitors of Ross Stores 

  • T.J. Maxx
  • Gordmans
  • NKD Group
  • Forman Mills
  • TK Maxx

Now that we got to know about the company’s function and their vast business globally, now let’s dig into the SWOT analysis of Ross Stores.

SWOT Analysis of Ross Stores

SWOT analysis of Ross Stores explores the company by strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. Under the SWOT Analysis of Ross Stores, the internal factors are strengths and weaknesses whereas the external factors are opportunities and threats.   

So let us first start by looking at the strengths of Ross Stores from the SWOT analysis of Ross Stores.

Strengths of Ross Stores

The company’s unique capabilities that give it an advantage in attracting more customers and maximizing profits are referred to as its strengths. Following are Ross Store’s strengths:

  • Varieties of Products: Ross Stores offer a range of product suppliers in various stores. Like for example, clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewellery, beauty products, and housewares and hence we can see a huge diversified product in stores.
  • Price Levels are Minimum: As we said in the introduction above that Ross Stores is the United States largest chain of discount department stores in apparel and home fashions as compared to other stores.
  • Good Storage: Ross Stores have 1500+ stores covering most of the states in the US and many other locations. Which is a huge asset for the company plus the strength. This will get handy in times of downfall of the company by giving or renting the warehouses to other companies. 
  • Deep Discount: dd’s discount (deep discount) chain for clothes and furniture makes the product’s price cheap. And even all types of targeted audiences can buy it at any low price.
  • Mighty & Fruitful Marketing Team: Ross Stores appoint a small marketing team which are packed with both traditional & digital marketing skills that make them stand ahead of their competitors in terms of effective marketing strategies.

Bonus Tip: Ross Stores’ digital marketing team is continuously hiring skilled professionals on their official website. To be a part of Ross Stores’ digital marketing team or some other brands you must first learn some digital marketing skills to showcase a better-pictured profile. To do so, you can learn the same from IIDE 13+ short term courses in digital marketing which are taught by digital industry experts within or less than 5 days (per skill).  

  • Customized Products: Gift cards of sects up to $ 250. Buyers can even create their gift cards. Whereas it contains all the things like flowers, cards, toys, etc. On the first hand, it is having a very astounding combination which is set by the company and secondly if the person wants to customize they can go with that too.

Weaknesses of Ross Stores 

Some of the flaws which are tarnishing the reputation of Ross Stores in the market are 

  • Improper Financial Plan: The company needs to see that its flaws are in front of investors and the public which is going to be a downfall for the company’s market cap. Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current assets ratio and liquid assets ratio suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
  • Inventory Management: The firm has very poor inventory management. It has to work a lot internally otherwise it may fail to retain customers.
  • Global Presence: Exclusively, Ross Stores exists only in the U.S. whereas other competitors have a strong global presence. 
  • Customer Dissatisfaction: Though the company offers the products at a cheaper rate, due to poor inventory management, the customers may not get the products at the time as a result has to face dissatisfaction from the customer.
  • No Good Hands-on Technology: The company tries to save on technological advancement so that they can pass more savings on to their customer. But according to current and upcoming trends, it should try to introduce technology by hiring the youths who have a good awareness of technology.

Opportunities for Ross Stores 

Now, here comes some of the opportunities for Ross Stores which are very likeable and can get the company profited in long run: 

  • Latest Items on Auction: So as we all know that trend plays a very vital role in the market. Where every single company wants to adopt new trends and start making a profit out of them. Ross Stores can benefit from this opportunity by putting the latest fashion items for auction where trend plays a vital role in sales. 
  • Online Retail: Ross Stores can easily do online retail to increase sales of items produced in bulk. Single products are bought in huge quantities which cost less while buying and they can charge for one product at a minimal amount or a fair amount.
  • Home Essentials: Demand for home essentials products is boosted up in the US. This change can be a great opportunity for Ross Stores as they also deal in home apparel. 
  • Going Global: As we said, Ross Stores one of the weaknesses is not being presented globally. This weakness can be an opportunity for Ross Stores to research a foreign market and delve into it with the help of its brand image. 
  • New Customers through Online Channels: Over the past few years the company has invested a vast sum of bugs in online platforms. This investment has opened a new sales channel for Ross Stores and also opened for those who are not from big cities but they can enjoy these facilities of buying a product from Ross Stores. 
  • Research & Development: Research & development provides an opportunity for Ross Stores to practice a differentiated pricing strategy in the new market. It will enable the firm to maintain its loyal or potential customers in check with great strategy and lure new customers through other value-oriented propositions.

Threats to Ross Stores   

  • No Innovative Products: For a long time the company has not developed their technology which is going to be the biggest threat. Moreover, new technologies developed by competitors or market disruptors could be a serious threat to the industry in the medium to long term future. 
  • Rising Competition: Nowadays several new companies are entering the market and have also gained a lot of market share. They are gaining the trust of consumers through innovations brought by them. So, if Ross Stores does not make its move then it can lose its customers to these new entrants.
  • Frequent Change in Customer Taste: With the speed of innovation, customers are demanding something new day by day, this frequent change in consumer tastes and preferences could become a threat of rising dead stock for businesses like Ross Stores.
  • Dead & Old Stocks: There is no regular supply of new or innovative products over the years. The company develops numerous products that are old and often responds to the development by other players. Also, the supply of new products is not regular thus leading to a high and low swing in the sales number over some time.

This ends our detailed SWOT analysis of Ross Stores. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

Ross Stores is a famous retail seller with an amazing national presence. In the SWOT analysis of Ross Stores, we saw that the company is having good storage, varieties of products, customized products, and discounted products. It has a strong logistical basis and has reached across all the markets it serves but somehow suffers from the competitor and unorganized plan. 

With increasing competition in a market such as retail sellers, the company needs to expand its services and grow them using better marketing efforts. In a changing world where digital marketing is of supreme importance, being well informed in the field is a must for all marketing passions. If you are eager to learn more, check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Online Digital Marketing Course to know more.

We hope this blog on the SWOT analysis of Ross Stores has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

If you like such in-depth analysis of companies like Ross Stores, find more such intuitive case studies on our IIDE Knowledge portal.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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