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Company > Wesfarmers: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Wesfarmers: 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 of Wesfarmers, a leading Australian conglomerate operating in various sectors. We will explore the key components of their business model, including their diversified portfolio, customer-centric approach, and commitment to sustainable practices. Additionally, a comprehensive SWOT analysis will be conducted to assess the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Furthermore, we will identify Wesfarmers' main competitors in the market, highlighting the challenges they pose and the strategies the company can employ to maintain its competitive edge in 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Wesfarmers, including information on the key shareholders and their stakes in the company.
    • The mission statement of Wesfarmers, outlining the company's goals and objectives.
    • How Wesfarmers generates revenue and makes money, including an overview of its diverse business operations and revenue streams.
    • An explanation of the Wesfarmers Business Model Canvas, highlighting the key elements and strategies that drive the company's success.
    • The main competitors of Wesfarmers, including a list of rival companies in the industries where Wesfarmers operates.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Wesfarmers, examining the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the market.

    Who owns Wesfarmers?


    Wesfarmers, one of Australia's largest conglomerates, is a publicly traded company. This means that its ownership is distributed among various shareholders who hold shares in the company. In this section, we will explore the ownership structure of Wesfarmers and highlight some of its key stakeholders.

    Shareholder Composition

    As of the latest available information, Wesfarmers has a diverse shareholder base, comprised of both institutional and retail investors. Institutional investors, such as pension funds, mutual funds, and insurance companies, often hold significant stakes in the company. These institutional investors are attracted to Wesfarmers due to its stable financial performance and potential for long-term growth.

    Moreover, retail investors, individual shareholders who purchase shares through brokerage accounts, also contribute to the ownership of Wesfarmers. These retail investors are often attracted to Wesfarmers due to its reputation as a reliable dividend-paying company and its position as one of Australia's leading corporations.

    Major Shareholders

    While Wesfarmers has numerous shareholders, some major stakeholders hold substantial positions in the company. Notably, the largest shareholder of Wesfarmers is the Vanguard Group, an American investment management firm. With a significant stake in the company, the Vanguard Group's decisions and interests can have a notable impact on Wesfarmers' strategic direction.

    Another major shareholder of Wesfarmers is BlackRock, another prominent global investment management corporation. As a significant stakeholder, BlackRock's involvement can influence Wesfarmers' decision-making process and corporate governance.

    Employee Ownership

    Wesfarmers also has an employee share ownership plan (ESOP) in place, allowing employees to purchase shares in the company. This program is designed to foster a sense of ownership and align the interests of employees with the long-term success of Wesfarmers. Employee ownership can contribute to a motivated workforce and enhance productivity within the company.


    Wesfarmers, being a publicly traded company, has a diverse ownership structure that includes institutional investors, retail investors, major stakeholders like the Vanguard Group and BlackRock, as well as employee shareholders. This diverse ownership base helps Wesfarmers to access capital and expertise from various sources, contributing to its growth and success in the Australian market.

    What is the mission statement of Wesfarmers?

    The Mission Statement of Wesfarmers: Driving Sustainable Growth through Diverse Operations

    Wesfarmers, a leading Australian conglomerate, has a clear and concise mission statement that guides its strategic decisions and business operations. The mission statement of Wesfarmers is to "provide a satisfactory return to shareholders by delivering sustainable growth." This simple yet powerful statement encapsulates the company's commitment to long-term profitability and its responsibility towards various stakeholders.

    Delivering Sustainable Growth

    Wesfarmers recognizes the importance of sustainable growth in creating value for its shareholders, employees, customers, and the wider community. By focusing on sustainable growth, the company aims to ensure its operations are economically viable, environmentally responsible, and socially beneficial. This commitment is reflected in the diverse portfolio of businesses Wesfarmers operates, which span across sectors such as retail, industrial, and chemical.

    Providing a Satisfactory Return to Shareholders

    Central to Wesfarmers' mission statement is the objective of providing a satisfactory return to its shareholders. The company understands that its success is directly linked to the satisfaction of its shareholders, who have invested their capital and trust in the business. Wesfarmers strives to deliver consistent financial performance by effectively managing its operations, making strategic investments, and capitalizing on growth opportunities.

    Emphasizing Diversity in Operations

    One notable aspect of Wesfarmers' mission statement is its emphasis on diverse operations. By operating in various industries and sectors, the company reduces its exposure to specific market risks and enhances its resilience. This diversity allows Wesfarmers to leverage its expertise in different areas, adapt to changing market conditions, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Additionally, diverse operations also contribute to the company's ability to create value for different stakeholders and drive sustainable growth.

    In conclusion, the mission statement of Wesfarmers underscores the company's commitment to driving sustainable growth through diverse operations while providing a satisfactory return to shareholders. By embracing sustainability, focusing on shareholder satisfaction, and maintaining a diverse portfolio of businesses, Wesfarmers aims to create long-term value and make a positive impact on the communities it serves.

    How does Wesfarmers make money?

    Retail Operations

    Wesfarmers generates a significant portion of its revenue through its retail operations. The company owns several popular retail brands in Australia, including Coles, Kmart, Target, Bunnings Warehouse, and Officeworks. These brands have a strong presence in the market and enjoy a loyal customer base.

    Coles, Wesfarmers' largest retail brand, operates a vast network of supermarkets and convenience stores across the country. With a focus on providing quality groceries and a wide range of products, Coles consistently generates substantial revenue for Wesfarmers.

    Kmart and Target, both well-known department store chains, offer a diverse range of products including clothing, homewares, electronics, and toys. These brands have a strong appeal to budget-conscious shoppers and contribute significantly to Wesfarmers' revenue stream.

    Bunnings Warehouse, a leading hardware and home improvement retailer in Australia and New Zealand, is another major contributor to Wesfarmers' earnings. Bunnings is renowned for its extensive product range, exceptional customer service, and a strong presence in the market.

    Officeworks, a leading office supplies retailer, caters to both individuals and businesses. With its wide range of products, competitive pricing, and convenient locations, Officeworks is a profitable business unit within Wesfarmers.

    Industrial and Safety

    In addition to its retail operations, Wesfarmers also generates revenue from its industrial and safety businesses. Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety (WIS) comprises several leading companies specializing in the distribution of industrial products, safety equipment, and services.

    Blackwoods, a well-established industrial supplier in Australia, offers a comprehensive range of products, including tools, safety gear, and maintenance supplies. This business unit serves customers across various industries, including mining, manufacturing, construction, and government sectors.

    WIS also includes businesses like Coregas, which supplies gases and related products to industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and hospitality. Furthermore, Workwear Group, a leading provider of workwear and protective clothing, caters to diverse industries, including mining, construction, and healthcare.

    Other Ventures

    Apart from its core retail and industrial operations, Wesfarmers has diversified its revenue streams through other ventures. The company holds investments in various sectors, including insurance, energy, and fertilizers.

    Wesfarmers' insurance division, under the brand name Lumley, offers a range of general insurance products to consumers, businesses, and commercial organizations. This segment contributes a significant portion to the company's overall revenue.

    The energy division of Wesfarmers includes interests in coal mining and exploration. The company owns and operates coal mines in Australia, supplying both domestic and international markets. Additionally, Wesfarmers has investments in oil and gas exploration, leveraging its expertise in the energy sector.

    Wesfarmers also has a presence in the fertilizer industry through its subsidiary, CSBP Fertilizers. CSBP manufactures and distributes fertilizers and related chemicals, serving the agricultural sector in Australia and internationally.

    In conclusion, Wesfarmers derives its revenue from a diverse range of businesses. Its retail operations, including Coles, Kmart, Target, Bunnings Warehouse, and Officeworks, form a significant part of its earnings. Additionally, its industrial and safety businesses, as well as ventures in insurance, energy, and fertilizers, contribute to the company's overall financial success.

    Wesfarmers Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is the Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of an organization's business model. It was developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and has gained popularity among entrepreneurs and business professionals worldwide. The canvas consists of nine essential building blocks that help define and describe the key elements of a business.

    Wesfarmers Business Model Canvas

    Wesfarmers, an Australian conglomerate, operates in various industries, including retail, coal mining, and industrial businesses. Let's take a closer look at how Wesfarmers' business model can be explained using the Business Model Canvas:

    1. Customer Segments

    Wesfarmers serves a diverse range of customer segments across its various businesses. In the retail sector, the company targets both individual consumers and businesses. It operates several retail chains, such as Coles, Target, and Kmart, which cater to different customer segments with varying needs and preferences.

    2. Value Proposition

    Wesfarmers aims to provide value to its customers through a combination of factors such as product quality, affordability, convenience, and a wide range of choices. The company strives to meet the diverse needs of its customers by offering a broad selection of products and services across its different business units.

    3. Channels

    Wesfarmers utilizes multiple channels to reach its customers effectively. In the retail sector, the company operates brick-and-mortar stores, online platforms, and mobile applications. This multichannel approach allows customers to engage with Wesfarmers' brands through their preferred channels, enhancing their shopping experience.

    4. Customer Relationships

    Building strong customer relationships is crucial for Wesfarmers' success. The company focuses on delivering excellent customer service, personalized experiences, and maintaining a strong brand reputation. Through loyalty programs, targeted marketing campaigns, and responsive customer support, Wesfarmers aims to foster long-term relationships with its customers.

    5. Revenue Streams

    Wesfarmers generates revenue from various sources, including retail sales, rental income, royalties, and dividends from its investments. The retail sector contributes significantly to the company's revenue, with sales of a wide range of products across its different retail chains.

    6. Key Activities

    Wesfarmers engages in a range of key activities to sustain its operations and drive growth. These activities include retail operations, supply chain management, product development, marketing and advertising, investment management, and strategic acquisitions. The company continuously evaluates and adapts its key activities to meet market demands and maintain a competitive edge.

    7. Key Resources

    To support its diverse business operations, Wesfarmers relies on a variety of key resources. These resources include physical assets such as retail stores, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities. Additionally, the company leverages its intellectual capital, brand reputation, and human resources to drive innovation, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

    8. Key Partnerships

    Wesfarmers collaborates with various partners to enhance its business model. These partnerships include suppliers, manufacturers, technology providers, financial institutions, and industry associations. By establishing strategic partnerships, Wesfarmers can access resources, expertise, and market opportunities that contribute to its overall success.

    9. Cost Structure

    Managing costs efficiently is vital for Wesfarmers to maintain profitability. The company focuses on cost optimization through economies of scale, supply chain efficiencies, and effective cost management strategies. This approach enables Wesfarmers to offer competitive pricing to its customers while maximizing its bottom line.

    In conclusion, Wesfarmers' business model encompasses a diverse range of industries and relies on delivering value to its customers through various channels, strong customer relationships, and strategic partnerships. By leveraging its key resources, engaging in key activities, and optimizing its cost structure, Wesfarmers continues to thrive in the highly competitive business landscape.

    Which companies are the competitors of Wesfarmers?

    Major Competitors

    Wesfarmers, a leading Australian conglomerate, faces fierce competition across various industries it operates in. Here are some of its major competitors:

    1. Woolworths Group: As one of Australia's largest retailers, Woolworths Group competes directly with Wesfarmers' retail division, particularly in the supermarket sector. Both companies strive to attract customers with competitive pricing, quality products, and exceptional customer service.

    2. Coles Group: Coles, another prominent Australian supermarket chain, is a significant rival to Wesfarmers' retail business. The competition between Coles and Wesfarmers is intense, with both companies vying for market share through innovative marketing strategies and store expansions.

    3. Metcash Limited: Metcash is a wholesaler and distributor of groceries, liquor, and automotive parts. While it primarily supplies independent supermarkets and convenience stores, it also competes with Wesfarmers' retail division through its various brands such as IGA. Metcash aims to differentiate itself by offering personalized service and catering to the needs of smaller retailers.

    4. Bunnings Warehouse: Wesfarmers' home improvement and outdoor living division faces competition from various players, but Bunnings Warehouse, owned by Wesfarmers itself, is its primary rival. Bunnings has established itself as a household name in the Australian market, offering a wide range of products and services to DIY enthusiasts and professional tradespeople.

    Other Competitors

    In addition to the major competitors mentioned above, Wesfarmers encounters competition from various companies across its diverse portfolio of businesses. Here are a few examples:

    1. JB Hi-Fi Limited: JB Hi-Fi competes with Wesfarmers' Officeworks division in the consumer electronics and office supplies sector. Both companies aim to provide customers with the latest technology products, competitive prices, and exceptional customer experiences.

    2. Harvey Norman Holdings Limited: Harvey Norman is a retail chain specializing in furniture, bedding, electrical appliances, and home entertainment. It competes with Wesfarmers' furniture and household goods division, which includes brands such as BCF (Boating, Camping, Fishing) and Kmart.

    3. AGL Energy Limited: Wesfarmers' energy division, which operates under the brand Kleenheat, faces competition from AGL Energy in the retail gas and electricity market. Both companies strive to attract residential and commercial customers with competitive pricing, renewable energy options, and exceptional customer service.

    4. Coca-Cola Amatil Limited: As a major player in the beverage industry, Coca-Cola Amatil competes with Wesfarmers in the production, distribution, and marketing of soft drinks, water, juices, and other non-alcoholic beverages. Both companies aim to capture consumer preferences and secure shelf space in supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants.

    In conclusion, Wesfarmers faces competition from various companies across its different business divisions. These competitors continuously push the boundaries to attract and retain customers, driving innovation and offering high-quality products and services.

    Wesfarmers SWOT Analysis


    • Diversified portfolio: One of the key strengths of Wesfarmers is its diversified business portfolio. The company operates in various sectors including retail, industrial, and resources, which provides it with stability and reduces its dependence on any single industry.
    • Strong brand portfolio: Wesfarmers owns several well-known brands such as Coles, Bunnings, and Officeworks. These brands have strong customer recognition and loyalty, giving the company a competitive advantage in the market.
    • Wide geographic presence: Wesfarmers has a wide geographic presence in Australia and New Zealand, with its retail stores and operations spread across different regions. This allows the company to reach a large customer base and capture market share effectively.


    • High dependence on the Australian market: The majority of Wesfarmers' revenue comes from the Australian market, making it vulnerable to any fluctuations or downturns in the local economy. This over-reliance on a single market exposes the company to higher risks.
    • Limited international presence: While Wesfarmers has a strong presence within Australia and New Zealand, its international operations are relatively limited. This lack of diversification in terms of geographic reach may hinder the company's growth potential in global markets.
    • High debt levels: Wesfarmers has a significant amount of debt on its balance sheet. This can pose a risk, especially during periods of economic uncertainty or rising interest rates, as it may increase the company's financial burden and affect its ability to invest in growth opportunities.


    • E-commerce growth: With the increasing trend of online shopping, Wesfarmers has an opportunity to further expand its e-commerce presence. By leveraging its well-established brands and customer base, the company can capitalize on the growing demand for online retail and enhance its revenue streams.
    • Expansion into new markets: Wesfarmers can explore opportunities to expand its operations into new markets beyond Australia and New Zealand. This could involve entering emerging economies or acquiring businesses in industries that align with its strategic objectives, enabling the company to tap into new customer segments and diversify its revenue sources.
    • Sustainable and ethical practices: There is a growing consumer demand for sustainable and ethically produced products. Wesfarmers can seize this opportunity by adopting and promoting sustainable practices across its business operations, which would not only attract environmentally conscious customers but also enhance its brand reputation.


    • Intense competition: Wesfarmers operates in highly competitive industries such as retail and resources, where it faces competition from both domestic and international players. This intense competition can put pressure on the company's market share, pricing, and profitability.
    • Economic downturns: Any economic downturn or recession can significantly impact consumer spending and demand for Wesfarmers' products and services. This external threat may lead to a decrease in sales and revenue, affecting the company's financial performance.
    • Regulatory changes: Changes in regulations and government policies can pose a threat to Wesfarmers' operations. For example, stricter environmental regulations or labor laws may increase costs or require the company to modify its business practices, affecting its profitability and operations.

    Key Takeaways

    • Wesfarmers is owned by individual and institutional shareholders who hold shares in the company.
    • The mission statement of Wesfarmers is to deliver satisfactory returns to shareholders through the ownership and management of a portfolio of businesses.
    • Wesfarmers generates its revenue through various sources, including retail operations, industrial businesses, and investments in other companies.
    • The Wesfarmers Business Model Canvas highlights the company's key activities, resources, partnerships, and customer segments, providing a comprehensive overview of how the company operates.
    • Some of the main competitors of Wesfarmers are Woolworths Group, Coles Group, and Metcash, among others.
    • A SWOT analysis of Wesfarmers would examine the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, providing insights into its current position and future prospects.


    In conclusion, Wesfarmers is a conglomerate company that operates various businesses in Australia and New Zealand. It is owned by a diverse group of shareholders, including institutional investors, retail investors, and employees. The mission statement of Wesfarmers is to deliver satisfactory returns to shareholders while respecting the interests of its employees, customers, and the community.

    Wesfarmers generates revenue and profits through its diverse portfolio of businesses, which includes retail, industrial, and resources sectors. Its retail division, which includes well-known brands such as Bunnings Warehouse, Kmart, and Officeworks, is a major contributor to its overall earnings. Additionally, Wesfarmers has interests in various industries, including chemicals, energy, and fertilizers, further diversifying its revenue streams.

    The Wesfarmers Business Model Canvas provides a comprehensive overview of the company's key activities, resources, and partnerships that contribute to its success. It highlights the company's customer-centric approach, strong brand portfolio, and efficient supply chain management as key drivers of value creation.

    As for competitors, Wesfarmers faces competition from various companies across its different business segments. In the retail industry, it competes with major players like Woolworths and Coles. In the industrial and resources sectors, it faces competition from companies such as Incitec Pivot and Origin Energy. However, Wesfarmers' strong brand reputation, extensive network, and strategic investments have allowed it to maintain a competitive edge in these markets.

    Conducting a SWOT analysis of Wesfarmers reveals its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The company's strengths lie in its diversified business portfolio, strong brand equity, and efficient operational practices. However, it also faces challenges, such as intense competition, changing consumer preferences, and potential risks associated with its resource-related operations. Despite these challenges, Wesfarmers has opportunities for growth, including expanding its online presence, investing in sustainable practices, and exploring new markets.

    Overall, Wesfarmers is a successful conglomerate that has built a strong presence in various sectors. Through its customer-focused approach, diverse business portfolio, and strategic investments, the company continues to deliver value to its shareholders while adapting to the changing business landscape.


    What are the four 4 parts of SWOT analysis?

    The four parts of SWOT analysis are:

    1. Strengths: These are the internal factors or resources that give an organization a competitive advantage over others. It includes factors such as strong brand equity, skilled workforce, advanced technology, or unique product features.

    2. Weaknesses: These are the internal factors that place an organization at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. It includes factors such as outdated infrastructure, lack of financial resources, poor market reputation, or limited product range.

    3. Opportunities: These are the external factors or trends in the market that can benefit an organization. It includes factors such as emerging markets, changing customer preferences, technological advancements, or favorable government policies.

    4. Threats: These are the external factors or challenges that can negatively impact an organization's performance. It includes factors such as intense competition, economic downturns, changing regulations, or disruptive technologies.

    How can I find a SWOT analysis on a company?

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

    1. Company's official website: Many companies provide SWOT analysis as part of their annual reports, investor presentations, or corporate strategy sections on their websites. Look for sections like "About Us," "Investor Relations," or "Corporate Profile."

    2. Business news websites: Websites like Bloomberg, Reuters, Forbes, or CNBC often publish articles that include SWOT analysis or discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of various companies. Use the search function on these websites and enter the company name along with "SWOT analysis" to find relevant articles.

    3. Market research reports: Market research firms, such as IBISWorld, MarketResearch.com, or Statista, often provide SWOT analysis on various companies. Some reports may require a subscription or payment, while others might offer limited access or summaries for free.

    4. Business databases: Online business databases like Business Source Complete, ProQuest, or LexisNexis Academic contain articles, reports, and analyses on companies. Use relevant keywords like the company name and "SWOT analysis" to find relevant information.

    5. Business journals and magazines: Publications like Harvard Business Review, McKinsey Quarterly, or Fortune often feature in-depth analysis of companies, including SWOT analysis. Check the archives of these publications for relevant articles.

    6. Social media and online communities: Join industry-specific forums, LinkedIn groups, or follow relevant hashtags on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Often, professionals and industry experts share SWOT analysis or discuss company strengths and weaknesses.

    Remember that different sources may have varying perspectives on a company's SWOT analysis, so it's beneficial to analyze multiple sources to get a comprehensive understanding.

    Who are the main competitors of Wesfarmers?

    The main competitors of Wesfarmers include:

    1. Woolworths Group: Wesfarmers competes with Woolworths in various sectors, including supermarkets, liquor stores, and home improvement.

    2. Coles Group: Coles is another major competitor for Wesfarmers in the supermarket industry.

    3. Metcash Limited: Metcash is a grocery and hardware wholesaler that competes with Wesfarmers in the wholesale distribution sector.

    4. Bunnings Warehouse: Bunnings, owned by Wesfarmers, competes with other hardware and home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowe's.

    5. Aldi: Aldi is a major discount supermarket chain that competes with Wesfarmers' Coles and Woolworths in the grocery sector.

    6. JB Hi-Fi: JB Hi-Fi is a competitor for Wesfarmers' subsidiary, Officeworks, in the consumer electronics and office supplies retail industry.

    7. Harvey Norman Holdings: Harvey Norman is a competitor for Officeworks in the office supplies and technology retail sector.

    8. Mitre 10: Mitre 10 is a hardware and home improvement retailer that competes with Wesfarmers' Bunnings Warehouse.

    These are just a few examples of the main competitors of Wesfarmers in various sectors they operate in.

    What is a SWOT analysis of the farming enterprise?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of a business or enterprise. Here is an example of a SWOT analysis for a farming enterprise:


    1. Vast agricultural knowledge and expertise.
    2. Access to fertile land and natural resources.
    3. Ability to produce a variety of crops and livestock.
    4. Strong relationships with suppliers and buyers.
    5. Potential for diversification into value-added products.


    1. Vulnerability to weather and climate conditions.
    2. High dependency on external factors like market prices and government policies.
    3. Limited access to advanced farming technologies and equipment.
    4. Lack of diversification in terms of crops or livestock.
    5. Inefficient or outdated farming practices.


    1. Growing demand for organic and locally-produced food.
    2. Expansion into niche markets such as organic, sustainable, or specialty crops.
    3. Collaboration with local restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers' markets.
    4. Government support and subsidies for sustainable farming practices.
    5. Increasing consumer awareness and interest in sustainable agriculture.


    1. Competition from large-scale industrial farming operations.
    2. Fluctuations in market prices and demand.
    3. Environmental challenges like drought, pests, or diseases.
    4. Regulatory changes or restrictions on farming practices.
    5. Limited access to capital for investment or expansion.

    It's important to note that this SWOT analysis is just an example, and the actual strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can vary depending on the specific farming enterprise and its context.

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