Top 10 Retail Companies in the World 2020

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: June 06, 2020

The largest retail companies demonstrate the dominance of these retail chains both at home and abroad. The best retail companies have grown rapidly by opening several stores across strategic geographic locations worldwide. Along with that, retail chains have also made their presence felt by having a strong online presence. This enables them to showcase their entire product & service offering, and reach out to customers more efficiently. 


Top Retailers in the World by Sales and Profit

The top retail companies include Walmart, Amazon, CVS, Walgreen Boot, Home Depot followed by names like Kroger, Costco, Target, Carrefour. Here is a list of the top 10 retail companies in the world 2020.


10. Target

Target is one of the largest retailers in US having a strong geographic reach.

Image: flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/

The company was founded by George Dayton and has its headquarter in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The first store was established in 1962 in Roseville, Minnesota.

It has more than 1800 stores across world by 2017.Target parent company is known by the name Dayton-Hudson Corporation and Target is the highest earning division of Dayton-Hudson Corporation. It experienced massive success by expanding its operations in the urban markets of US. It caters to the need of youth and image conscious shoppers whereas its rival follows a strategy of “always low price”. Target operates in several formats which include the discount store Target, the Supermarket hypermarket and flexible format stores. The first SuperTarget store was opened in Apple Valley, Minnesota in 1990; the stores are 50% larger than traditional stores with the inclusion of grocery department. Target also pay much attention to its ecommerce operations, the target.com domain attracted around 228 million visitors annually by 2008. Target announced the corporation intent to purchase Shipt for $550 Million in order to compete with its competitor like Amazon and Walmart. Shipt is an internet based online grocery delivery service in US. Target globally was able to generate $69 Billion worth of revenue with an overall profit of $2.7 billion in the year 2017.

Revenue (Billion): $78

Profit (Billion): $3


9. Tesco

Tesco PLC is a British multinational general and grocery merchandise having its headquarters in Chestnut, England, United Kingdom.


Image: geograph.org.uk

The company was formed as a group of market stalls by Jack Cohen in 1919. Since its beginning, Tesco has diversified itself and its product range to cover most of the products that are sold in the retail market now. This has helped Tesco create huge market stores which can leverage almost all the needs of a customer. Tesco PLC ranks 62nd in the list of Fortune 500 group of companies. Tesco PLC holds over 7,800 stores under its belt including its franchisees globally. The Tesco operates its business in different retail formats i.e. Tesco Extra, Tesco Superstores, Tesco Metros, Tesco Express, One Stop, Tesco HomePlus and Dobbies. The company did a group trade profit of over 1.4 billion GBP. Tesco PLC is listed in the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and is a member of FTSE 100 Index. Tesco is the 28th largest company listed in the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This makes it one of the top retail companies in the world. Tesco PLC has strength of over 500,000 employees who are well trained to know the intricacies of the processes they are involved in. The company has a focused code of conduct of keeping their employees and stakeholders safe and also protect the reputation of the business. They are very sensitive in helping its employees understand the core values and code of conduct of Tesco. Tesco PLC believes in serving the Britain’s shoppers better every day. They focus on understanding customers and meet the needs of customers first and also act responsibly towards the community. This has made Tesco scale up their business considerably and also become one of the top players in the world of retail industry.

Revenue (Billion): $82

Profit (Billion): $1.2


8. Carrefour

Carrefour is one of the biggest retailers headquartered in Boulogne Billancourt, France.


Image: Wikimedia

It is one of the largest retailers of the world with 12,300 self-service stores under group banners in more than 30 countries and regions at the end of year. It was founded by Denis Defforey, Jacques Defforey and Marcel Fournier in 1960, and it was the first to open hypermarket in Europe. In 1970, Carrefour went public and it was listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. Carrefour has more than 374,478 employees worldwide. Since people are now adopting online modes to make purchases, Carrefour recorded 1.3 million unique visitors a day across all the Carrefour websites. Carrefour has more than 20,000 Carrefour quality line suppliers worldwide with over 70% of Carrefour brand food products come from SMEs and national suppliers. There are more than 104 million households worldwide those are using Carrefour products at their homes. The company was able to generate $106 billion of revenue. The company is also known for its philanthropic activities, company donated 148.2 million meal equivalents donated to food aid associates. They were also able to cut CO2 emissions by 24% as compared to year 2016. In 2014, 65% of the total waste produced by Carrefour stores was recycled and reused.

Revenue (Billion): $83

Profit (Billion): $1.3


7. Home Depot

The Home Depot was Bernie Marcus, Ron Brill, Arthur Blank, and Pat Farrah in 1978.

Image: flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/

The company has its headquarter located in Georgia USA and is the largest home improvement retailer of USA. Their vision is to provide them with products, services & knowledge they required in order to build house of their dreams. Arthur blank & Bernie dreamed up The Home Depot from a coffee shop in 1978. They envisioned providing a huge variety of merchandise at a great price with highly trained staff. From just two stores, The Home Depot has now almost 2200 stores in three countries. When it went online, the domain homedepot.com attracted around 120 million visitors annually in the year 2008. In the year 2015, it acquired interline Brands from P2 capital partners and Goldman Sach’s private equity arm for around $1.6 Billion. Interline Brands has over 90 distribution centres across US, Canada. Some of the major brands of home depot are Chem-dry, Behr paints, Homelite, American Woodwork etc. It is one of the top retail companies worldwide. The company is also known for its philanthropic activities like recently, the company donated $50 million to train people as construction workers over a period of 10 years. The company was able to generate revenue of around $95 Billion with an overall profit of $8 Billion in the year 2017. The company has market value 0f $177 Billion with an overall assets value of $43 Billion.

Revenue (Billion): $110

Profit (Billion): $11


6. Kroger

The Kroger Company is an American retail company having a strong geographic presence.


Image: flickr.com/photos/126562301@N06/

It was founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in the year 2016, it became US’s largest retailer chain by revenue. It is one of the largest general retailer in US after Walmart, and it is headquartered in downtown Cincinnati. Kroger is also the largest private employer in the US and it is also the third best retailer in the world. It is operational across 35 states and its store format includes supermarket, hypermarket, departmental stores, superstores, jewellery stores and convenience stores. Kroger is the only major US Company which operate an economical three-tier distribution system. Kroger is serving nearly 9 million customers a day in 35 states. Food stores contribute to 94% of the total company’s revenue and rest comes from jewellery stores and manufacturing facilities. Kroger has around 2,268 pharmacies located in their combined food and drug stores which provide high quality services every day at low prices. The Kroger Company has largest network of private label brand manufacturing in the country. Kroger always believe in simple dictum: Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.” Kroger’s vision is a world with zero hunger and zero waste. Kroger is committed towards a mission to end hunger in the communities and eliminate waste across its company by 2025.

Revenue (Billion): $122

Profit (Billion): $1.7


5. Walgreen Boots Alliance

Walgreen Boots Alliance is one of the largest pharmacies and retail companies across US and Europe.


Image: Wikimedia

Walgreen Boots Alliance has presence in more than 25 countries and employs around 3,85,000 people with more than 13000 stores across world. Walgreen Boots is an American Holding Company headquartered in Deerfield Illinois, US. The company was formed in year 2014 when Walgreen purchased 55% of stake in Switzerland and UK based Alliance Boots. The company has three divisions: Retail Pharmacy USA (Walgreens), Retail Pharmacy International (Boots) & Alliance healthcare which incorporates Pharmaceutical wholesale vertical. The company has unmatched supply chain and distribution network and procurement expertise which offers customers innovative solutions at lower price. It has other brands in the category of global health and beauty product like No7, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and Botanics. It has a unique platform which helps them generate huge profit and let them grow in a sustainable way in developed and emerging markets. Walgreen Boots Alliance leverages on all these advantages and opportunities which is helping them in developing a global platform for future to provide innovative ways to address wellness and health challenges. Walgreen Boots Alliance has been included in the list of World’s Most Admired Companies in Fortune Magazine. Walgreen Boots has been able to generate sales of $116 Billion with an overall profit of $3 billion. It has a market value of around $89 billion in the year 2017.

Revenue (Billion): $138

Profit (Billion): $3.4


4. CVS Pharmacy

CVS was originally named as Consumer Value Stores and was founded in 1963 in Lowell, Massachusetts.


Image: company website

It is a subsidiary of health care company CVS Health and is headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. It is the largest retailer chain in US and its biggest competitor in this space is Walgreen Boots Alliance which has been ranked among the top according to Fortune 500. It has more than 9600 stores worldwide and has been ranked 7th largest US Corporation by Fortune 500. CVS sells prescribed drugs, beauty products & cosmetics, seasonal merchandise, greeting card and medicines can be ordered online also through CVS.com. CVS.com attracted 26 million visitors annually by 2008. CEO Tom Ryan considers CVS as “Convenience, value & Service.” In year 2015, CVS acquired Targets pharmacy and retail clinic businesses which let CVS to expand its operations in Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City and Portland. CVS acquired Eckerd drug stores, Eckerd Health Services and also fragmented store operations of supermarket chain Albertsons. It also acquired Minneapolis based largest retail-based health clinics “Minuteclinic”, which has made it one of the top retail companies in the world. It has been able to achieve sales figure of $177 Billion and able to mint profit of $5 Billion.

Revenue (Billion): $141

Profit (Billion): $4.6


3. COSTCO

COSTCO is an American multinational corporation and it is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington.

Image: geograph

In the year 2015, COSTCO was considered to be as world’s second largest retailer after Walmart & it became world’s best retailer of prime meat, organic food, wine and chicken. COSTCO opened its first warehouse in 1983 nearby Seattle and has since then grown with many more stores. The company has 750 warehouses in countries like US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, France, Australia, UK, Spain, Iceland etc. Costco’s history began with Sol Price, when he opened the first Price Club Warehouse in California in the year 1976, thus giving rise to the concept of retail warehousing. Costco employ more than 200,000 employees worldwide and has more than 90.3 million members worldwide. Costco involve in selling products at very low price. Often the products are sold in high volume catering to the needs of large families and businesses. It sells product under the Kirkland Signature label and a typical COSTCO warehouse carries 4,000 distinct products. This helps them in a high volume of sales and allows further reduction in prices due to low marketing costs. Costco has its largest warehouse located in Salt Lake City which of around 235,000 square feet and has highest volume store located in Seoul, South Korea. The company was able to generate sales of around $121 Billion with an overall profit of $3 billion.

Revenue (Billion): $158

Profit (Billion): $3.8


2. Amazon

Amazon is a pioneer in online retailing. Amazon started and grew in the late 1990s.


Image: flickr-photos/mikeblogs/

Inside 4 months of operation, Amazon website was a great degree well known webpage on the Web, moving high in the rankings by Internet organizations. Amazon offers items from third party understandings, by means of retailers like , Circuit City Stores Inc, the Borders Group, National Leisure Group Inc, and Virgin Wines Waterstones, Expedia Inc, Hotwire, Toysrus.com Inc, Target Corporation. Sometimes criticized for utilizing Gross merchandise value and market share in overall industry as opposed to profits, Amazon.com shocked everybody to demonstrate its first net benefit in 2001. Amazon collected National Retailer Federation’s award “Retailer of the year”. It was likewise included among main 10 worldwide brands in the main 500 worldwide brands 2015 list by a driving industry source gaining practical experience in brand valuation. Amazon was positioned among the main three US retail marks in the main 50 US retail marks 2015 rundown discharged by the same source. The organization offers items in different classes through its e-business site www.amazon.com in the US. The online organization helps Amazon to turn its stock quickly and diminish its stock administration cost what's more, subsequently offer stock at nearly low costs. Broadening product offering and reinforcing specialized stage through key acquisitions Amazon has been growing its business operations and items. In 2009, the organization obtained Zappos.com, an online attire, footwear and adornments retailer. In September 2015, AWS aquired Elemental Technologies, one of the main suppliers of programming based video arrangements. The organization's emphasis on item extension will empower it to increase its noteworthy piece of the pie. The fortifying of its specialized stage will help Amazon decrease its working cost and make strides in operational proficiency and permit it to offer more esteem to its clients. Amazon has ruled the quickly developing electronic book market for as far back as couple of years through its tablet gadget, Kindle. Inside nine months of its dispatch, Kindle Fire represented 22% of the US tablet deals.

Revenue (Billion): $236

Profit (Billion): $10


1. Walmart

Walmart Inc. is an US retail giant and was founded by Sam Walton in the year 1962.


Image: Wikimedia

Walmart has more than 11000 stores and is operating across 25 countries under 50+ different names. Walmart was able to generate $500 billion of revenue and was able establish it as world’s largest retail company by revenue according to Fortune Global 500 list. The revenue generated through its ecommerce operations is just 4% of its overall revenue. Walmart is famous among its customers because Walmart customers able to purchase products at very low price on any day. It is one of the top retail brands in the world. The reason behind selling items at lower price is that Walmart is able to achieve economies of scales. Walmart analyse large amount of user data which allows them to optimise their operations by predicting consumer’s habits. Now Walmart is focussing more on expanding online commerce. In year 2016, it acquired Jet.com to compete with Amazon.com. Walmart’s US ecommerce CEO considering doubling their warehouses for ecommerce to enhance consumers digital experience. In early 2006 when India had strict FDI regulations, Walmart announced a joint venture with Bharti Enterprise. Bharti enterprise would handle the front end retail stores and Walmart takes care of cold chain and logistics. Now Walmart is in talks to buy India’s ecommerce giant Flipkart at a valuation close to $20 billion. If the deal goes through, it will pose a great threat and competition to Amazon’s India ecommerce operations.

Revenue (Billion): $524

Profit (Billion): $14


Ranking Methodology

1. The top retail companies in the world are considered

2. Parameters like sales and profits are considered

3. The final ranks are calculated based these parameters

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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