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Company > Steinhoff International: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Steinhoff International: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Mar 10, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model, SWOT analysis, and competitors of Steinhoff International, a global retail company. Steinhoff International operates in various sectors, including furniture, household goods, and general merchandise, with a presence in multiple countries. By examining its business model, we will gain insight into the company's operations and strategies. Additionally, a thorough SWOT analysis will help us evaluate Steinhoff International's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Lastly, we will explore the competitive landscape to understand how Steinhoff International positions itself among its rivals in the year 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Steinhoff International and the key stakeholders involved in the company.
    • The mission statement of Steinhoff International and how it guides their business operations.
    • How Steinhoff International generates revenue and the various sources of income for the company.
    • An explanation of the Steinhoff International Business Model Canvas and how it is applied in their operations.
    • The major competitors of Steinhoff International and the challenges they face in the market.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Steinhoff International, including their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    Who owns Steinhoff International?

    Background on Steinhoff International

    Steinhoff International is a multinational retail holding company based in South Africa. It was founded in 1964 by Bruno Steinhoff and has since grown into a global retail giant with operations in over 30 countries. Steinhoff operates various retail brands, including Conforama, Mattress Firm, and Poundland, among others.

    Shareholder Structure

    As of the latest available information, Steinhoff International has a diverse shareholder structure. The company's shares are listed on multiple stock exchanges, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany. This has attracted investors from around the world, contributing to the company's global reach.

    The largest shareholder of Steinhoff International is the Government Employees Pension Fund of South Africa, which holds a significant stake in the company. Other institutional investors, such as pension funds and asset managers, also own substantial portions of Steinhoff's shares.

    Additionally, Steinhoff's management and board of directors, including its CEO and other key executives, hold a significant number of shares in the company. This aligns their interests with those of other shareholders and provides them with a vested interest in the company's success.

    Recent Developments

    In recent years, Steinhoff International has faced significant challenges, including a major accounting scandal that came to light in late 2017. The scandal led to a sharp decline in the company's share price and raised questions about its financial health and governance practices. As a result, many investors sold their shares, leading to a change in the company's shareholder structure.

    To address the crisis, Steinhoff has undergone a restructuring process, including selling off non-core assets and implementing cost-cutting measures. The company has also faced legal battles and investigations in various jurisdictions, further impacting its shareholder base.

    Despite these challenges, Steinhoff International has been working towards rebuilding trust with investors and shareholders. The company has made efforts to improve its corporate governance and transparency, aiming to regain credibility in the financial markets.


    While the ownership of Steinhoff International is distributed among various institutional and individual shareholders, the company's largest shareholder is the Government Employees Pension Fund of South Africa. As the retail giant continues its recovery journey, it remains crucial for Steinhoff to demonstrate its commitment to good governance and regain the confidence of its shareholders.

    What is the mission statement of Steinhoff International?

    The Mission Statement of Steinhoff International: Building a Global Retail Empire

    Steinhoff International, a renowned multinational retail company, operates with a clear and concise mission statement that drives its business operations and strategic decisions. The mission statement of Steinhoff International can be summarized as follows:

    Creating Value through Global Retailing Excellence

    Steinhoff International aims to create value for its stakeholders by delivering retailing excellence on a global scale. The company strives to establish itself as a leader in the retail industry, offering customers a wide range of high-quality products at competitive prices while maintaining a commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices.

    Fostering Retailing Excellence

    At the heart of Steinhoff International's mission is a focus on fostering retailing excellence. This entails consistently providing customers with exceptional shopping experiences, whether online or in physical stores. The company endeavors to understand and exceed customer expectations by offering an extensive assortment of products that cater to various consumer needs and preferences.

    To achieve retailing excellence, Steinhoff International prioritizes continuous improvement in its operations, supply chain management, and customer service. By embracing innovation and leveraging technology, the company aims to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness at every stage of the retail process. Steinhoff International also recognizes the importance of investing in its employees, fostering a culture of teamwork, accountability, and passion for retailing.

    Expanding Globally for Value Creation

    Steinhoff International's mission extends beyond national borders, as the company seeks to build a global retail empire. By expanding its presence in different markets around the world, the company aims to unlock opportunities for growth and value creation. Steinhoff International understands that diversifying its operations geographically helps mitigate risks associated with economic fluctuations and changes in consumer behavior.

    To achieve global success, Steinhoff International adopts a multi-brand strategy, tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each market. This approach allows the company to leverage its expertise and economies of scale while adapting to local cultures and consumer trends. By operating in multiple countries, Steinhoff International also benefits from synergies and knowledge transfer, fostering innovation and continuous learning across its global network.

    Commitment to Sustainability and Ethical Practices

    Steinhoff International recognizes the importance of conducting business in a sustainable and ethical manner. The company is committed to minimizing its environmental impact by promoting responsible sourcing, reducing waste, and implementing energy-efficient practices throughout its operations. Furthermore, Steinhoff International upholds high ethical standards, ensuring fair treatment of employees, suppliers, and partners.

    Through its mission statement, Steinhoff International demonstrates its dedication to creating value for all stakeholders – customers, employees, shareholders, and communities. By focusing on retailing excellence, global expansion, and sustainability, the company strives to build a reputable and successful retail empire that stands the test of time.

    How does Steinhoff International make money?

    Retail Operations

    One of the primary ways Steinhoff International makes money is through its extensive retail operations. The company operates numerous retail brands and stores across the globe, catering to a wide range of consumer needs. These retail operations include furniture stores, household goods stores, and general merchandise stores.

    Steinhoff International owns and operates well-known retail brands such as Mattress Firm, Conforama, Pepco, Poundland, and Harveys. These brands offer a diverse range of products, including furniture, appliances, home decor, clothing, and more. By offering a variety of products under different brands, Steinhoff International can attract a broad customer base and generate revenue through retail sales.

    The company's retail operations span multiple regions, including Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This geographical diversity allows Steinhoff International to tap into different markets and benefit from varied consumer demands. By strategically positioning its retail stores in high-traffic areas and leveraging its brand recognition, the company can drive sales and generate profits.


    In addition to its brick-and-mortar stores, Steinhoff International also generates revenue through e-commerce channels. The company recognizes the increasing importance of online shopping and has invested in developing robust online platforms for its retail brands. These e-commerce platforms allow customers to browse and purchase products conveniently from their homes.

    By embracing e-commerce, Steinhoff International can reach a broader audience and expand its customer base beyond the physical limitations of its retail stores. The company invests in digital marketing strategies to drive online traffic and conversions. It leverages social media, search engine optimization, and targeted online advertising to increase brand visibility and attract online shoppers.

    Steinhoff International's e-commerce operations complement its brick-and-mortar stores, providing customers with multiple shopping options. The company offers online-exclusive deals, discounts, and promotions to incentivize customers to choose the online channel. Through its e-commerce efforts, Steinhoff International generates additional revenue streams and adapts to evolving consumer preferences.

    Property Investments

    Another significant source of revenue for Steinhoff International comes from its property investments. The company strategically acquires and develops real estate properties to lease or sell to third parties. These properties may include retail spaces, commercial buildings, warehouses, and distribution centers.

    By investing in properties, Steinhoff International can benefit from rental income and property value appreciation. The company carefully selects locations that are attractive to potential tenants or buyers, considering factors such as demographics, market demand, and accessibility. Through effective property management and leasing strategies, Steinhoff International maximizes the returns on its property investments.

    Furthermore, by owning their retail store locations, Steinhoff International reduces its dependence on leasing properties from third-party landlords. This gives the company greater control over its retail operations and allows for cost savings in the long run.

    In summary, Steinhoff International generates revenue through its retail operations, e-commerce channels, and property investments. By leveraging its diverse retail brands, embracing e-commerce, and investing in properties, the company ensures multiple income streams and a strong financial position.

    Steinhoff International Business Model Canvas Explained


    The Steinhoff International Business Model Canvas is a strategic tool that provides a holistic view of the company's business model. It allows stakeholders to understand the key elements that drive Steinhoff's success and helps in identifying areas for improvement. In this section, we will delve deeper into the different components of Steinhoff's business model canvas and explore how they contribute to the company's overall strategy.

    Key Partnerships

    Steinhoff International has established strategic partnerships with various suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers to optimize its supply chain and expand its product offerings. These partnerships enable the company to access a wide range of products and ensure a steady flow of inventory in its retail stores. By collaborating with reliable partners, Steinhoff can leverage their expertise and resources to enhance the quality and diversity of its product portfolio.

    Key Activities

    The key activities of Steinhoff International revolve around the retail sector. The company operates a vast network of retail stores across different countries and regions. Its primary activities include sourcing and procurement, inventory management, marketing and sales, as well as customer service. Steinhoff continuously focuses on improving its operational efficiency and optimizing its supply chain to deliver high-quality products to its customers at competitive prices.

    Key Resources

    Steinhoff International's key resources include its retail stores, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and a strong online presence. The company invests in building and maintaining a robust infrastructure to support its operations. Additionally, Steinhoff's experienced workforce, technological capabilities, and brand reputation are also crucial resources that contribute to its success. These resources enable the company to deliver a seamless shopping experience to its customers and maintain a strong competitive edge in the retail industry.

    Value Proposition

    Steinhoff International's value proposition lies in offering a wide range of quality products at affordable prices. The company aims to provide its customers with value for their money by consistently delivering products that meet their needs and preferences. Steinhoff's diverse product portfolio, coupled with its competitive pricing strategy, attracts a broad customer base and fosters customer loyalty. Additionally, the company's commitment to customer service and after-sales support further enhances its value proposition.

    Customer Segments

    Steinhoff International targets a diverse customer base that includes individuals and households seeking affordable and quality retail products. The company caters to different market segments, ranging from budget-conscious consumers to those seeking premium products. By understanding the distinct needs and preferences of its customer segments, Steinhoff can tailor its product offerings and marketing strategies to effectively reach and engage its target audience.


    Steinhoff International utilizes multiple channels to reach its customers and distribute its products. Its retail stores serve as the primary distribution channel, allowing customers to physically browse and purchase products. Additionally, the company has also invested in e-commerce platforms, enabling customers to shop online and have products delivered to their doorstep. Steinhoff's omnichannel approach ensures convenience and accessibility for customers, enhancing their shopping experience.

    Revenue Streams

    The revenue streams of Steinhoff International primarily come from the sale of its retail products. The company generates income through the sales made in its physical stores as well as online platforms. Steinhoff also offers various value-added services, such as extended warranties and financing options, which contribute to its revenue stream. By diversifying its product offerings and exploring new market segments, Steinhoff aims to optimize its revenue streams and drive sustainable growth.


    Understanding the Steinhoff International Business Model Canvas provides valuable insights into the company's overall strategy and how it creates value for its stakeholders. By analyzing the key partnerships, activities, resources, value proposition, customer segments, channels, and revenue streams, it becomes evident that Steinhoff's success lies in its ability to offer a diverse range of quality products at affordable prices while continuously improving its operational efficiency. This comprehensive understanding of Steinhoff's business model facilitates informed decision-making and strategic planning for the company's sustainable growth.

    Which companies are the competitors of Steinhoff International?


    Steinhoff International is a global retail conglomerate with a diverse portfolio of brands and businesses. As one of the largest retailers in the world, it competes with various companies across different sectors. In this section, we will explore some of the key competitors of Steinhoff International and examine how they stack up against each other in the retail industry.

    Competitor 1: IKEA

    One of the most prominent competitors of Steinhoff International is IKEA, a Swedish multinational company known for its ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, and home accessories. IKEA has a strong global presence with numerous stores across the world, offering affordable and stylish furniture solutions to customers. While Steinhoff International also operates in the furniture retail sector, IKEA's focus on innovative designs, sustainability, and competitive pricing make it a formidable competitor.

    Competitor 2: Walmart

    Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is another significant competitor for Steinhoff International. With its extensive range of products, vast network of stores, and strong e-commerce presence, Walmart poses a tough challenge for Steinhoff International's retail operations. Walmart's ability to offer low prices, diverse product offerings, and convenient shopping experiences makes it a preferred choice for many customers, especially in North America.

    Competitor 3: Amazon

    In the era of e-commerce dominance, Amazon has emerged as a major competitor for traditional retailers like Steinhoff International. Known for its vast selection of products, competitive pricing, and fast delivery, Amazon has revolutionized the way people shop. With its extensive reach, Amazon competes with Steinhoff International not only in the retail sector but also in various other areas like electronics, home goods, and more. Steinhoff International's ability to adapt and innovate in the e-commerce space will be crucial in competing with Amazon's dominance.

    Competitor 4: Target

    Target Corporation, a well-established retail company in the United States, presents another challenge to Steinhoff International. Target operates a chain of discount stores offering a wide range of products, including apparel, home goods, electronics, and groceries. With its emphasis on trendy and affordable merchandise, Target attracts a diverse customer base, competing directly with Steinhoff International's retail brands. Target's strong brand presence, customer loyalty, and strategic partnerships make it a formidable competitor in the retail industry.


    Steinhoff International faces stiff competition from a range of companies in the retail sector. Competitors like IKEA, Walmart, Amazon, and Target have established themselves as global leaders with strong brand presence, diverse product offerings, and competitive pricing strategies. As the retail industry continues to evolve, Steinhoff International needs to stay agile, innovative, and customer-centric to stay ahead in the competitive landscape.

    Steinhoff International SWOT Analysis


    1. Global presence: Steinhoff International has a strong global presence with operations in over 30 countries. This allows the company to tap into diverse markets and benefit from economies of scale.

    2. Diversified portfolio: The company has a diversified portfolio of retail brands, including household names such as Conforama, Mattress Firm, and Pepco. This diversification helps to mitigate risks and capture opportunities in different segments of the retail industry.

    3. Strong supply chain: Steinhoff International has established a robust and efficient supply chain network. This enables the company to source products at competitive prices and deliver them to customers in a timely manner, enhancing customer satisfaction.

    4. Cost-effective operations: The company has a reputation for cost-effective operations, which helps to maintain competitive pricing and increase profitability. Steinhoff International's focus on operational efficiency allows it to optimize resources and reduce expenses.


    1. Financial challenges: Steinhoff International faced a major setback in 2017 when it was hit by an accounting scandal, leading to a significant loss in market value. The company has since been struggling with financial challenges, including debt restructuring and legal settlements. These challenges have affected its reputation and financial stability.

    2. Brand image: The accounting scandal has also tarnished Steinhoff International's brand image. The company has been working to regain consumer trust, but the negative impact on its reputation may take time to fully recover.


    1. E-commerce growth: The rapid growth of e-commerce presents a significant opportunity for Steinhoff International to expand its online presence and reach a larger customer base. By investing in e-commerce platforms and technology, the company can tap into the growing trend of online shopping.

    2. Emerging markets: Steinhoff International can capitalize on the potential of emerging markets, particularly in Asia and Africa. These markets offer untapped opportunities for growth, and the company can leverage its global presence to enter new markets and establish a strong foothold.


    1. Intense competition: The retail industry is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for market share. Steinhoff International faces intense competition from both traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce giants. This competition puts pressure on the company to continuously innovate and differentiate itself to maintain its market position.

    2. Economic uncertainty: Steinhoff International operates in a global market that is susceptible to economic fluctuations. Uncertain economic conditions, such as recessions or currency devaluations, can impact consumer spending and affect the company's sales and profitability.

    3. Regulatory changes: Changes in regulations, such as import/export laws, taxation policies, or labor regulations, can pose challenges for Steinhoff International's operations. Adapting to these changes and ensuring compliance can increase costs and disrupt business operations.

    Key Takeaways

    • Steinhoff International is owned by various shareholders, including institutional investors and individual shareholders.
    • The mission statement of Steinhoff International is to provide customers with quality products at affordable prices, while delivering value to shareholders and contributing to the communities in which they operate.
    • Steinhoff International generates revenue through the retail sale of furniture, household goods, and clothing, both through physical stores and online platforms.
    • The Steinhoff International Business Model Canvas explains how the company creates value through key activities such as sourcing products, operating efficient supply chains, and implementing effective marketing strategies.
    • Competitors of Steinhoff International include companies such as IKEA, Ashley Furniture Industries, and Wayfair.
    • In a SWOT analysis, Steinhoff International's strengths include a wide range of product offerings and a global presence, while weaknesses may include the fallout from past accounting irregularities. Opportunities for the company lie in expanding into emerging markets, while threats may arise from intense competition and economic downturns.


    In conclusion, Steinhoff International is a global retail conglomerate that has faced significant challenges in recent years. The ownership of the company is divided among various shareholders, with no single majority owner. The mission statement of Steinhoff International is to provide customers with quality products at affordable prices.

    The company makes money through its diverse portfolio of retail brands, which operate in various sectors such as furniture, household goods, and clothing. Steinhoff International's business model is based on vertical integration and cost efficiency, allowing it to offer competitive prices to its customers.

    When analyzing Steinhoff International's position in the market, it is important to consider its competitors. Some of the key competitors of the company include IKEA, Walmart, and Wayfair. These companies operate in similar retail sectors and pose a threat to Steinhoff International's market share.

    Lastly, conducting a SWOT analysis of Steinhoff International reveals its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The company's strengths lie in its global presence and diverse brand portfolio. However, weaknesses such as corporate governance issues and financial challenges have affected the company's reputation. Steinhoff International also faces opportunities for growth through expanding in emerging markets and online retail, but it must be mindful of threats such as intense competition and economic uncertainties.

    Overall, Steinhoff International is a complex and dynamic company operating in the retail industry. While it has faced difficulties, it continues to strive towards its mission of providing affordable and quality products to customers worldwide.


    What is SWOT analysis in international business?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used in international business to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a company or project in the global market. It involves identifying and analyzing internal and external factors that can impact the success or failure of a business venture.

    Strengths: These are the internal factors that give a company a competitive advantage over others in the international market. It could include factors such as a strong brand image, advanced technology, skilled workforce, or unique product features.

    Weaknesses: These are the internal factors that put a company at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. It could include factors such as poor financial performance, lack of resources, limited market presence, or outdated technology.

    Opportunities: These are the external factors that can be beneficial to a company's growth and expansion in the international market. It could include factors such as emerging markets, favorable government policies, changing consumer behavior, or technological advancements.

    Threats: These are the external factors that can negatively impact a company's performance in the international market. It could include factors such as intense competition, economic downturns, political instability, changing regulations, or technological disruptions.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis, companies can gain a comprehensive understanding of their position in the international market, make informed decisions, and develop effective strategies to leverage their strengths, address weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and mitigate threats.

    How can I find a SWOT analysis on a company?

    There are several ways to find a SWOT analysis on a company:

    1. Company websites: Many companies publish their SWOT analysis on their official websites, especially if they are publicly traded. Look for investor relations or corporate governance sections on their website, as these often contain relevant information.

    2. Annual reports: Publicly traded companies are required to publish annual reports, which often include a SWOT analysis or a similar analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These reports can be found on the company's website or through financial databases.

    3. Business news websites: Business news websites such as Bloomberg, Forbes, or CNBC often publish SWOT analyses or similar assessments of companies. Use the search function on these websites to find articles or reports that provide the information you are looking for.

    4. Market research reports: Research firms and industry analysts often conduct SWOT analyses on companies as part of their research reports. These reports can be purchased from market research firms or accessed through academic databases if you have access to a university library.

    5. Online databases: Some online databases, such as Business Source Complete, provide access to academic journals, industry reports, and other sources that may contain SWOT analyses. These databases may require a subscription or access through a library.

    6. Social media platforms: Companies sometimes share their SWOT analysis or similar insights on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Follow the company's official accounts and look for any relevant posts or updates.

    7. Professional networks: Reach out to professionals working in the industry or company you are researching. They may have access to internal reports or insights that include SWOT analyses.

    Remember that a SWOT analysis is often subjective and can vary depending on the source. It is beneficial to consider multiple perspectives and cross-reference information from different sources to get a comprehensive understanding.

    What is the mission statement of Steinhoff International?

    The mission statement of Steinhoff International is as follows:

    "To provide our customers with a wide range of quality products at affordable prices, delivered with exceptional service, through efficient and innovative business models, while creating sustainable value for our stakeholders and contributing to the communities in which we operate."

    What is the best company for SWOT analysis?

    There is no definitive answer to this question as the best company for SWOT analysis will depend on the specific needs and context of the analysis. However, some commonly analyzed companies for SWOT analysis include:

    1. Apple Inc. - Known for its innovative products and strong brand image.
    2. Google (Alphabet Inc.) - Dominant player in the technology industry with diverse product offerings.
    3. Coca-Cola - Global beverage giant with a well-established brand and extensive distribution network.
    4. Amazon - E-commerce and cloud computing giant with a wide range of business segments.
    5. Tesla Inc. - Leading electric vehicle manufacturer known for its disruptive technology and sustainability focus.
    6. McDonald's - Global fast food chain with a strong brand and extensive international presence.
    7. Microsoft Corporation - Technology company with a strong software and cloud computing business.
    8. Walmart - Largest retailer in the world with a massive global footprint and extensive supply chain.
    9. Nike Inc. - Global sportswear and athletic footwear company with a strong brand and marketing presence.
    10. Procter & Gamble - Consumer goods company with a diverse portfolio of well-known brands.

    Again, the choice of the best company for SWOT analysis will depend on the objectives and industry of the analysis being conducted.

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