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Peterman Company, SWOT Analysis Example

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Words: 387

SWOT analysis

In retail, tremendous overlap in the products that competitors offer is prevalent. Is there true product differentiation between Wal-Mart and Target? Marshalls and TJ Maxx? Even if there is differentiation, is it really noted by the consumer, especially in   e-commerce? The purpose of this SWOT analysis is to evaluate how a company has set itself apart from the rest, and evaluate its strategic position within the marketplace.

The J. Peterman Company specializes is distinctive merchandise that ranges from men’s and ladies’ apparel, gifts, décor, antiques and one-of-a-kind artifacts. Through evaluation of their website, you can identify intrinsic strengths and opportunities, as well as weaknesses and threats.

Strengths of the company can best be described as brand identity, as they clearly set themselves apart from other retailers. The presentation on www.jpeterman.com (2010) is rich and meant to enhance perceived value, with hand drawn illustrations and detailed storytelling within product descriptions. Presentation is a key way to differentiate, transforming purchasing a product into creating an experience.

The richness of presentation also leads to an obvious weakness, as the perceived value of what they offer restricts their audience. Cost conscious consumers may determine from the website presentation that products are unaffordable. Price points often range into the hundreds or thousands for many products, serving to lower the number of people willing to purchase from J. Peterman, regardless of quality.

When a company has a strong brand identity, it provides additional opportunities for market expansion that could assist in offsetting the aforementioned weakness. J. Peterman could emulate what many high end retailers with strong brands have already succeeded at implementing by creating an outlet concept, and this could be achieved online. Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, and others have taken this approach to grow their businesses while protecting brand identity. This tactic could enhance appeal through the perception of providing a better value.

Retail is fraught with peril when there is a prolonged economic downturn, and companies with higher end clientele will find a diminished audience for products that are deemed non-essential. J. Peterman would be wise to respond to this threat with a different mix of lower and higher price points, ensuring that consumers who wish to spend, but spend less will have plenty of options on www.jpeterman.com (2010).

References

The J. Peterman Company. (2010). Travelling the World to find Uncommonly Good Stuff. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://www.jpeterman.com

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