One of the most profitable sectors in the world, the retail sector has grown exponentially over the decades and is yet to lose its dynamic nature. The transition from local stores owned by individuals to over 10,000 stores of the same company all over the world has been quick and fascinating. With rapid industrialization and globalization, the need for retail sector companies has been growing for a long time.
Many companies and brands have entered this race, but only a few have found the path to the summit of popularity and success. These retail leaders have spread across the continents and have become a household name in many countries. We take a look at the top 10 biggest retail chains around the globe and their current success and spread.
- Target Corporation
Founded: 1902, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A
Number of countries of operation: 2
Net retail revenue: $ 72.5 billion
Number of employees: 347,000
Target Corporation, an American retail chain, has over 1805 stores across the U.S and another 150 across Canada which offer a variety of goods. It operates a number of discount stores, small format stores, and hypermarkets. Target believes in selling high quality, modern day trends related goods and merchandise at lower prices and thus, attracts a huge section of young buyers. With the offered items ranging from household products to apparel and jewelry, Target is a big player in the retail market. It is also the second biggest discount retail chain in all of U.S
- The Home Depot Inc.
Number of countries of operation: 4
Net retail revenue: $ 78.8 billion
Number of employees: 371,000
The Home Depot Inc. is an American retailer providing customers with construction and home improvement products and services. These range from building materials, gardening products and tools, easy to assemble furniture to installation guides and servicing support. The chain has its iconic big-box warehouse style stores in about 2,250 locations in the U.S, the U.K, Canada, Mexico, and China.The company’s website offers over 700,000 items shipped for free to multiple locations and also features a great list of DIY (Do it yourself) projects and ideas. The outstanding online support has attracted over 125 million visitors in the recent years. They are also known to support the cause of environmental preservation and have marked a majority of their products with a label which promotes energy conservation, sustainable forestry and water management.
- Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG
Founded: 1946, Essen, Germany
Number of countries of operation: 17
Net retail revenue: $ 81.1 billion
Aldi is a global discount supermarket chain which offers good value basics and cut price luxury items. It operates in Europe, U.S.A, and Australia with over 11,000 stores spread over 19 countries. It was founded as a small grocery store by the mother of two brothers who later went on to be the owners of the large chain, which was split into two operation groups in 1960, namely Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd. A German survey has found out that more than 80% self-employed businessmen and public servants in Germany prefer to shop at Aldi. With plans to expand in Europe, Aldi has recently invested over $1 billion in its Western Europe expansion in the UK, Spain etc. with about 50 new stores opening every year.
- Metro Ag
Number of countries of operation: 32
Net retail revenue: $86.39 billion
Number of employees: 244,500
Metro AG, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany is a global retail and cash n carry wholesale operation group operating in most parts of Europe and Asia. A majority of the group’s sales and profits come from the cash and carry type of trade where customers (retailers, professional users, caterers, institutional buyers, etc.) directly buy from the various warehouse type stores and carry it with themselves or opt for delivery. It operates hypermarkets, department stores, and consumer electronics stores. Metro AG also has running ventures in real estate, logistics, information technology and a few other fields.
- The Kroger Co.
Founded: 1883, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
Number of countries of operation: 1
Net retail revenue: $98.3 billion
Number of employees: 343,000
Kroger is a true American retail giant which operates over 2,600 retail food and drug stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores. It was founded by Bernard Kroger with his lifesavings with the idea of selling everything he’d want at his home at some point of time. Kroger was the first grocery chain to monitor and test the quality of various products and allow customers to go for product testing. Kroger owns about 37 plants across America which produces over 40% of its private label products.
- Tesco PLC
Number of countries of operation: 13
Net retail revenue: $98.8 billion
Number of employees: 500,000
Tesco is a global grocery, food and general merchandise chain with about 8,000 across Europe and Asia. It is the biggest grocery market shares in the U.K, Ireland, Hungary, and Malaysia. It originated in the U.K during the glory days of the empire, and since then it has become a chain with one of the most diverse range of products and services offered. Apart from the different types and sizes of stores it operates, Tesco has also ventured into many areas like telecom, banking, petrol stations, software, garden centres, and restaurants.
- Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG
Founded: 1930, Germany
Number of countries of operation: 26
Net retail revenue: $99.1 billion
Number of employees: 315,000
The primary competitor of Aldi, Lidl (formerly Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG) is German global discount marts giant. It operates over 10,000 stores in all major European nations and has plans to expand to Australia, U.S.A, and Russia. Founded as a food wholesaler shop, the company shifted its focus on larger discount supermarkets over time. Lidl is known to sell products as they are received from the manufacturers, somewhat of a no-frills approach. Lidl has also launched movie and photo services in the UK and a few other countries.
- Carrefour S.A.
Number of countries of operation: 33
Net retail revenue: $ 101 billion
Carrefour S.A is a French global hypermarket chain, the largest hypermarket chain in the world. It operates over 10,000 stores across Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and some other parts of Asia. It has a number of brands under its name and has a variety of retail stores based on the hypermarket model. The company is also known for its many slogans developed over the years to woo customers from all over the world.
- Costco Wholesale Corporation
Founded: Originally as Price Club in San Diego, California , U.S.A
Number of countries of operation: 9
Net retail revenue: $ 105.2 billion
Number of employees: 190,000
Costco is a unique membership-only warehouse chain with a wide range of products. It has the largest membership base amongst warehouse club chains. It had one of the biggest sales growths in history, when it grew from a few thousand to $ 3 billion within 7 years. Apart from the wide range of products offered at their warehouses, Costco also offers a multitude of services like auto, travel, photos, food, and online shopping. Costco sells most of its products in bulk and only accepts cash cards and American Express credit cards as forms of payment.
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Founded: 1962, Arkansas, U.S.A
Number of countries of operation: 28
Net retail revenue: $ 476.2 billion
Number of employees: 2.2 million
The King of them all, Wal-Mart!
Wal-Mart, an American multinational retail corporation, is the world’s biggest company in terms of revenue and also the world’s largest private employer. Founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, it operates over 11,600 stores worldwide which include discount stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, drug stores, apparel stores, restaurants, and convenience stores, as well as retail websites, such as walmart.com. Though most of its revenue comes from the grocery sales in the U.S, it has partnered with various companies in various countries to launch successful chains globally, making it the world’s biggest retailer.
These are the giants that have captured the retail market all around the world and we are sure you would have visited at least one of them at some point or the other after all who doesn’t like shopping?