Global retailer list

Walmart tops the global retailer list

US retailer Walmart has topped the 50 global retailer list, with Amazon ranking second and Costco placing fifth, while Walgreens, Home Depot, McDonald’s, Lowe’s and TJX also feature in the top 30.

Compiled by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the rankings see retailers assessed on criteria including international direct selling capabilities, the size of the company’s international retail sales franchise sales, and marketplace sales and sourcing alliances.

So which US retailers made the grade and how did they achieve success?

Walmart – Ranked No 1

Walmart - Global retailer list
  • Business foundations: Mass/hyper
  • Total worldwide stores: 11,361
  • Stores outside the US: 5,993
  • Countries of first-party operation: 27

With total global revenue of $510.33 billion, Walmart continues to seriously outperform all its nearest rivals, retaining the top position on the global retailers list.

The NRF notes it will likely hold this position in the immediate future due to its comfortable lead over nearest competitor Amazon.

“As we think about ‘Who will be?’ it seems certain that Amazon and Walmart will be two of the retailers that remain on the top of these rankings for many years to come. Will a third or fourth retailer join this battle for the top position?” the NRF asks.

Amazon – Ranked No 2

Amazon - Global retailer list
  • Business foundations: E-commerce
  • Total worldwide stores: 472
  • Stores outside the US: 7
  • Countries of first-party operation: 18

Amazon continues to hold firm in second position with global revenue of $232.88 billion.

The NRF notes that position is largely due to a number of factors including their expansion into Singapore, Turkey, Australia, India and Brazil.

“In each of these countries two things have happened soon after Amazon’s investment,” the NRF reflects.

“One, Alibaba has attempted to match or even outpace Amazon’s investment with acquisitions and investments of its own. Two, the local press has declared that consumers are not ‘catching on’ to the Amazon way of shopping.

“Despite these obstacles, Amazon is a retailer with a treasure chest of options available with one of the world’s highest market capitalizations, a hot domestic economy in the United States where consumers have most certainly ‘caught on’ to the Amazon way of shopping, and strong momentum coming from big and healthy countries such as Germany and Japan.”

Costco – Ranked No 5

Costco - Global retailer list
  • Business foundations: Club
  • Total worldwide stores: 782
  • Stores outside the US: 239
  • Countries of first-party operation: 12

The NRF explains Costco continues to quietly surprise international retail experts.

“First, it makes consumers pay a membership fee to enter its warehouses. Second, consumers who shop at Costco routinely state that the pack sizes they purchase are ‘too big’.

“Third, Costco moves slowly, opening just one or two international locations each year, especially compared with other retailers around them that open hundreds of stores at a time.

“Fourth, Costco has resisted making wholesale investments in e-commerce, so far preferring to sell additional services online rather than core merchandise.”

Despite this, Costco reported a most recent global revenue of $149.35 billion

Honourable mentions

Global retailer list
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance (No 11) – Drugstore, revenue $115.99 billion, 13,882 stores worldwide, 4605 stores outside the US.
  • Home Depot (No 15) – Home improvement, revenue $108.20 billion, 2287 stores worldwide, 306 stores outside the US
  • McDonald’s (No 23) – Quick service retail, revenue $26.53 billion, 37,855 stores worldwide, 23,941 stores outside the US
  • Lowe’s (No 25) – Home improvement, revenue $67.20 billion, 2015 stores worldwide, 292 stores outside the US
  • TJX (No 30) – Discount fashion retailer, revenue $38.97 billion, 4306 stores worldwide, 1163 stores outside the US
  • Best Buy (No 33) – Electronics, revenue $42.88 billion, 1238 stores worldwide, 212 stores outside the US
  • Starbucks (No 36) – Quick service retail, revenue $26.51 billion, 31,795 stores worldwide, 16,607 stores outside the US
  • eBay (No 38) – E-Commerce, revenue $10.75 billion, 0 stores worldwide
  • Gap (No 45) – Fashion, revenue $16.58 billion, 3666 stores worldwide, 1028 stores outside the US