Complete SWOT Analysis of Ross Discount Stores

Are you interested in learning more about the Ross Stores chain? Whether you’re a customer looking to better understand their services and products, or an investor looking to gain better insight into the company’s financials, this blog post is for you. We’ll be taking a look at a SWOT analysis of Ross Stores by exploring their internal & external strategic factors. So let’s get started!

SWOT Analysis of Ross

Here is a summary for quicker access:

Ross Stores SWOT Analysis
  • Strong distribution network
  • Quality products at low prices
  • Wide selection and variety
  • Superior customer service
  • Low profitability ratios
  • Outdated merchandise
  • Limited international presence
  • Over-reliance on discounts
  • Limited product selection
  • Leverage competitive pricing
  • Pursue strategic partnerships
  • Expand e-commerce capabilities
  • Enter new geographic markets
  • Broaden product offerings
  • Increasing competition
  • Global economic downturns
  • Growth of e-commerce


History of Ross Stores, Inc.

Ross Stores, Inc. is a chain of discount department stores in the United States. It was started by Stuart G. Moldaw & Morris Ross in 1982. The company operates under the brand names Ross Dress for Less and dd’s DISCOUNTS in 27 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The main office is in Dublin, California.

Through its Ross Dress for Less stores and dd’s DISCOUNTS stores, Ross Stores sells high-quality clothes and home goods at lower prices. The company offers a wide range of products including apparel (men’s, women’s, children’s clothing), shoes, accessories (handbags, jewellery), beauty supplies (fragrances and cosmetics), bedding & bath items (sheets, towels) as well as furniture items such as sofas and beds.

Since 1982, Ross has grown rapidly through expansion into new markets as well as through strategic mergers & acquisitions with other companies such as Dots LLC in 2015 and Goods of the World in 2017 which enabled them to offer customers an even greater selection of quality merchandise at discounted prices.

As of 2019 they operated 1,800 stores nationwide making them one of the largest off-price retailers in the US market with a revenue estimated to be around $14 billion USD annually.

SWOT analysis of Ross Stores

Strengths of Ross Stores – Internal Strategic Factors

Strong Distribution Network

Ross Stores has a strong distribution network that allows them to reach over 1,500 stores across 43 states as well as Puerto Rico and Guam. The company also has a robust online presence which enables them to reach their vast customer base easily and quickly. Additionally, Ross Stores’ strong free cash flow provides resources for new projects which further strengthens their position in the retail industry.

Quality Products at Low Prices

Ross Stores is known for its ability to offer quality products at low prices. It has become one of the most popular stores in the United States due to its wide selection of products and its competitive prices. Customers can find designer clothing, shoes, home decor, beauty items and more all at a fraction of the cost they’d find elsewhere.

Quality and Variety

Ross Stores offer shoppers a wide selection of quality merchandise in a variety of departments, from clothing and accessories to home decor and furniture. Their selection includes both national brands as well as exclusive items that cannot be found elsewhere. Ross Stores are also known for their low prices and frequent sales, making them an attractive option for those looking to save money while still getting quality items.

Superior customer service

Ross Stores Inc., a discount retailer, is known for its superior customer service and ability to provide customers with the products they need at a great value. They are also committed to providing employees with a positive and supportive work environment, which is why they are consistently ranked among the best companies to work for.

Weaknesses of Ross Stores – Internal Strategic Factors

Ross Stores, Inc. is one of the leading off-price retail chains in the United States. Despite their success, there are some weaknesses that have been identified in their business model. Below are the internal factor in ross stores swot analysis;

Low Income

One of these weaknesses is their profitability ratio and Net Contribution % which are below industry averages. Additionally, Ross Stores has a low-cost structure which provides them with a competitive edge but limits the potential for higher profits.

Outdated merchandise

Ross Stores are known for their wide variety of clothing and accessories, but the selection can often be outdated or low quality compared to other retailers. This can lead to customers feeling disappointed with their purchases, which can hurt the store’s reputation in the long run.

Limited International Presence

Ross Stores is an American chain of off-price department stores with locations primarily in the United States, but it has a limited presence in some international markets. This limits the company’s ability to expand its business globally and acquire new customers outside of its core US market.

Over-Reliance on Discounts and Promotions

Ross Stores, Inc. has a great business model that depends on discounting and promotions to draw in customers. While this works well for short-term sales, it can be difficult to maintain profits over the long term if they become too reliant on discounts and promotions. This could lead to reduced margins and weaker financial performance.

Limited Product Selection

Ross Stores is one of the largest discount retailers in the United States. They have a wide variety of items, but their selection is still limited when compared to other department stores. Some shoppers have complained that it can be difficult to find certain items at Ross Stores due to the lack of variety.

Opportunities for Ross Stores, Inc – External Strategic Factors

Ross Stores, Inc. is a leading off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States.

Competitive Price

The company offers high quality, in-season clothing and accessories at up to 70% off regular retail prices. Ross Stores has an extensive distribution network with over 1,400 stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. With its competitive pricing and wide range of products, Ross Stores provides shoppers with incredible value for money and great choice.


They can explore partnerships or collaborations with other retailers or online platforms in order to gain access to their customer base and tap into new markets.

Leverage the Power of Online Shopping

With the rise in e-commerce, Ross Stores has an opportunity to leverage its brick-and-mortar and online presence by optimizing their digital strategy. They can use their physical stores to expand their customer base and offer more products to their customers through the convenience of ordering online. This will give Ross Stores a competitive advantage over other retailers and help drive sales growth.

Explore new markets

Ross Stores has been successful in the US, but there are opportunities to expand into new markets. With increased globalization, Ross could explore different countries and cultures to find new customers who will love their products. This could be a great way for them to increase their profits and reach more customers.

Also, it could look into expanding its product offerings by introducing more innovative products or services that will appeal to a wider range of customers or target different demographics or areas of interest.

Threats to Ross Stores – External Strategic Factors

Ross Stores, Inc. faces a variety of threats that could limit their ability to remain successful and profitable.

Increasing Competition

The retail sector is becoming increasingly competitive, with more and more stores entering the market. This has been a major threat to Ross Stores, as they have to compete with larger companies such as Walmart and Amazon in order to attract customers.

Global Economic Downturns

Ross Stores, Inc. operates in a competitive environment and is subject to risks associated with global economic downturns, changes in consumer preferences, and other factors beyond the company’s control. These risks could have an adverse effect on the company’s financial performance and may cause Ross Stores to miss its earnings targets or suffer other losses.

E-commerce competition

The rise of e-commerce has been a major threat to Ross Stores, as many customers are choosing to shop online instead of in traditional stores. This shift has put downward pressure on Ross’s sales and profits, as shoppers can often find better prices and more convenient shopping experiences when shopping online.


Through this ross swot analysis, they can gain insight into their competitive landscape and better understand their current position in the market. Additionally, they can make informed decisions about potential investments or changes that could help them stay ahead of the competition. By taking advantage of the insights gained through SWOT Analysis, Ross Stores can remain competitive and thrive in this ever-changing retail landscape.

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