Retail Industry I U.S. Retailers Dominate World’s Largest Retail Chain Rankings – 2014 Reports Biggest Changes in Years for Costco, Amazon, Apple, Dell, JC Penny
The world’s largest retail chain, Wal-Mart, is still the world’s largest retail chain. We didn’t need an annual report to tell us that. However, the annual revenue and ranking report of the largest global retail chains that generally contains very few year-over-year changes managed to deliver quite a few surprises in 2014, particularly for the U.S. retail industry in general, and for the largest U.S. retail chains like Costco, Amazon, Apple, Nike, and JCPenney in particular.
By the time the annual Global Powers of Retailing research is released each year, it’s mostly filled with yesterday’s non-news, especially for U.S. retail industry watchers who are obsessed with measuring individual and industry-wide retail revenue and performance all year long. We’re grateful for your compilation work each year, Deloitte and STORES, but your world’s largest retail rankings don’t change much and therefore aren’t usually all that exciting. Until 2014.
Huge movements in U.S. retail chain revenue rankings dominated the 2014 world’s largest retailers report, just as U.S. retail companies continue to dominate retailing on a global level. Costco jumped up three revenue ranking positions to pass Kroger and push Germany’s largest retailers Metro AG out of the top five of global retailers. That’s the biggest shakeup that’s happened in the global retail industry in years.
Amazon also made a big jump into the Top 20, landing at ranking position #16 when compared to all retailing operations in the world. Considering that Amazon has only been in business for 18 years and has never sold a single product out of a physical retail store, that’s a big deal not just for Amazon, but also for for global retailing.
Apple retail also made its mark on the global retail industry when it jumped up 25 positions in the global revenue rankings to land squarely in the Top 50 of retail chains in the world, when measured by annual revenue. Apple accomplished that in less than 12 years with less than 500 retail stores worldwide, proving once again that you don’t have to be the biggest in order to be the best.
Having said that, Dollar General has been topping the U.S. retail industry store openings list for the past few years, which is the reason behind its rise from ranking position #67 to ranking position #56 on the global retail scene. Notably, Dollar General’s expansion has been in the U.S. domestic market, which most other retail chains have all but abandoned in their expansion plans. Also notably, Dollar General is now selling more than legacy American retailer, JCPenney.