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Destination Maternity (DEST) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Destination Maternity (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Destination Maternity is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, there is backlash against globalization, wage bills are increasing, geopolitical disruptions, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Destination Maternity


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Destination Maternity can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Destination Maternity, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Destination Maternity operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Destination Maternity can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Destination Maternity
2. Improving business portfolio management of Destination Maternity
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United States
4. Making a Retail (Apparel) sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Destination Maternity




Strengths of Destination Maternity | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Destination Maternity are -

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Destination Maternity comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Retail (Apparel) industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Retail (Apparel) industry

– Destination Maternity has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Destination Maternity to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Retail (Apparel) industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Destination Maternity to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Destination Maternity is one of the leading players in the Retail (Apparel) industry in United States. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United States. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Destination Maternity has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Retail (Apparel) industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Destination Maternity have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Ability to lead change in Retail (Apparel)

– Destination Maternity is one of the leading players in the Retail (Apparel) industry in United States. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Retail (Apparel) industry in United States but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Destination Maternity in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Analytics focus

– Destination Maternity is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Retail (Apparel) industry. The technology infrastructure of United States is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Destination Maternity are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Destination Maternity has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Destination Maternity has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Diverse revenue streams

– Destination Maternity is present in almost all the verticals within the Retail (Apparel) industry. This has provided Destination Maternity a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

Learning organization

- Destination Maternity is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Destination Maternity is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Destination Maternity emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

Innovation driven organization

– Destination Maternity is one of the most innovative firm in Retail (Apparel) sector.

Digital Transformation in Retail (Apparel) industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Destination Maternity digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Destination Maternity has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.






Weaknesses of Destination Maternity | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Destination Maternity are -

Skills based hiring in Retail (Apparel) industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Destination Maternity has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Destination Maternity is one of the leading players in the Retail (Apparel) industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Retail (Apparel) industry in last five years.

Employees’ less understanding of Destination Maternity strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Destination Maternity don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Destination Maternity has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.

High dependence on existing supply chain

– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Destination Maternity supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Destination Maternity is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Destination Maternity vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Destination Maternity, in the dynamic environment of Retail (Apparel) industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Destination Maternity has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Destination Maternity has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Retail (Apparel) industry over the last five years. Destination Maternity even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Destination Maternity has some of the most successful models in the Retail (Apparel) industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Destination Maternity should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Destination Maternity has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Retail (Apparel) industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

High dependence on Destination Maternity ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Destination Maternity still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Retail (Apparel) industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Destination Maternity has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Destination Maternity is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Destination Maternity to provide better information regarding Retail (Apparel) products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.




Destination Maternity Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Destination Maternity are -

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Destination Maternity has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Retail (Apparel) industry. This can help Destination Maternity to build a more holistic ecosystem for Destination Maternity products in the Retail (Apparel) industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Destination Maternity to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Loyalty marketing

– Destination Maternity has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Destination Maternity can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Destination Maternity in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Retail (Apparel) industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Destination Maternity can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Destination Maternity operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Retail (Apparel) sector.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Destination Maternity can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Retail (Apparel) industry.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Destination Maternity can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Destination Maternity to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Destination Maternity to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Manufacturing automation

– Destination Maternity can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Retail (Apparel) sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Destination Maternity can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Destination Maternity has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Retail (Apparel) sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Destination Maternity to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Destination Maternity to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Retail (Apparel) industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Destination Maternity can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Destination Maternity can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.




Threats Destination Maternity External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Destination Maternity are -

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Destination Maternity is facing in Retail (Apparel) sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Destination Maternity has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Retail (Apparel) industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Destination Maternity needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Retail (Apparel) sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Destination Maternity will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Increasing wage structure of Destination Maternity

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Destination Maternity.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Destination Maternity demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Retail (Apparel) industry and other sectors.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Retail (Apparel) industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Destination Maternity can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Environmental challenges

– Destination Maternity needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Destination Maternity can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Retail (Apparel) industry.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Destination Maternity can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Destination Maternity prominent markets.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Retail (Apparel) industry are lowering. It can presents Destination Maternity with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Retail (Apparel) sector.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Destination Maternity.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Destination Maternity can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Retail (Apparel) industry.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Destination Maternity Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Destination Maternity needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Destination Maternity is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Destination Maternity is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Destination Maternity to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Destination Maternity needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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