THE TOP 20 LARGEST RETAILERS IN THE WORLD ACROSS ALL CATEGORIES1Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark.2001 Sales: $219.8 billion2000 Sales: $193.3 billionThe big daddy of retailing, Wal-Mart has a presence in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, South Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.K and U.S., with close to 4,500 stores in all. Non-U.S. business represented less than 20 percent of the retailer's sales last year, or about $40 billion. Like its customers, Wal-Mart says it doesn't want to overpay for real estate overseas.2Carrefour Sa, Paris2001 Sales: $60 billion2000 Sales: $67 billionCarrefour is the world's largest international retailer, surpassing even Wal-Mart, with forays into Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey. Now it's on to Egypt.3Ahold, Zaandam, Netherlands2001 Sales: $59.6 billion2000 Sales: $48.6 billionThe bulk of Ahold's stores are in the U.S., where the acquisition of the Bruno's supermarket chain has extended its reach. Ahold has stores in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Thailand. A joint-venture in Central America has expanded to include Costa Rica and, in Scandinavia, there is a joint venture with Danish retailer Dansk Supermarked.4Home Depot, Atlanta, GA.2001 Sales: $53.5 billion2000 Sales: $45.7 billionHome Depot tapped into the do-it-yourself trend that's had Americans repairing their own plumbing and updating their kitchens. The chain offers classes in every conceivable area of home improvement, and is open 24-hours in some locations, for those compulsive fixer-upper types. The company also operates stores in Argentina, Canada, Chile and Puerto Rico.5Kroger, Cincinnati, Ohio2001 Sales: $50.1 billion2000 Sales: $49.0 billionRecently Kroger has been faced with intensifying competition from Wal-Mart in the food sector. In response, Kroger plans to cut prices. As part of its continued expansion in Texas, Kroger acquired seven Winn-Dixie supermarkets in the Dallas area, but there are no plans for venturing abroad.6Metro AG, Dusseldorf, Germany2001 Sales: $48.9 billion2000 Sales: $42.6 billionMetro, which owns department stores, hypermarkets, catalogs, specialty stores and supermarkets, has been aggressive in Eastern Europe. It has stores in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the U.K.7Sears, Roebuck & Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill.2001 Sales: $41 billion2000 Sales: $40.9 billionSears Canada appeared to have scored a coup when it signed an agreement with Martha Stewart to become the exclusive Canadian retailer of the Martha Stewart Everyday brand. But that was before the ImClone scandal that has engulfed Stewart. On the apparel side, Sears is developing a master private brand to cover several categories. On the international front, Sears has not ventured far from home.8Target Corp., Minneapolis, MINN.2001 Sales: $39.9 billion2000 Sales: $36.9 billionTarget has decided that low-priced merchandise doesn't have to look frumpy, attracting designers with a high-end pedigree, such as Mossimo, Stephen Sprouse and Michael Graves. Whether Target will play outside the U.S. remains to be seen, as the company has not yet put its show on the international road. For now, it appears to be focused on expanding its SuperTarget format.9Albertson's Boise, Idaho2001 Sales: $37.9 billion2000 Sales: $36.8 billionAlbertson's has yet to venture outside the U.S. The company's new ceo, Larry Johnston, a former General Electric executive was brought in last year to shake things up. He has been aggressive in chasing supercenter competition such as Wal-Mart.10Tesco, Chestnut, U.K.2001 Sales: $37.4 billion2000 Sales: $31.8 billionTesco, the U.K.'s largest food marketer, operates convenience stores, hypermarkets and supermarkets in the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland, Republic of Ireland, South Korea, Slovakia, Taiwan and Thailand. It's the second-largest operator of hypermarkets in Eastern Europe, behind Ahold, and has invested in a South Korean joint venture with Samsung. Experts say the company is years ahead of American retailers, in terms of merchandising and creativity.11Rewe Group, Cologne, Germany2001 Sales: $36.9 billion (tied with Auchan)2000 Sales: $34.7 billionDeep discount retailer Rewe said it will close 150 stores in Germany this year to increase profitability amid the stagnating economy. Last year, Rewe closed some 300 stores in the country. Among other things, Rewe faces an influx of successful discount chains in Germany. In Bulgaria, Rewe's expansion plans have been scaled down. It's Billa division had planned to open outlets in all major cities, but so far, only six have bowed. The company also operates stores in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Rumania, Slovakia and the Ukraine.12Auchan Group, Paris, France2001 Sales: $36.9 billion (tied with Rewe)2000 Sales: $25.1 billionAuchan likes to say that it has gone from hypermarket to cybermarket. From humble beginnings in Roubaix, France, Auchan is now navigating the Web with e-commerce sites in Madrid and Paris. The company has a retail presence in Argentina, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, U.S. and this year plans to expand its development in Asia and in Eastern Europe.13Kmart Corp., Troy. Mich.2001 Sales: $36.1 billion2000 Sales: $37.0 billionSo far, Kmart has only stuck its big toe in the international waters, opening stores in Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.While it's been tough for Kmart to expand globally, while under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company formed a new international division in February, an indication that it's putting renewed focus on the global markets.14Safeway, Pleasonton, Calif.2001: $34.3 billion2000: $32 billionSafeway is under pressure from Kroger, one of its main competitors. Excluding Canada, 58 percent of its stores are within five miles of Kroger, which itself has been struggling under the large shadow of Wal-Mart. Safeway's answer to competitive pressure is to become price-aggressive. On the foreign front, Safeway has been talking to the U.K.'s Tesco about a home delivery joint venture.15Costco Wholesale Corp., Issaquah, Wash.2001 Sales: $34 billion2000 Sales: $32 billionCostco operates an international chain of membership warehouses, mainly under the Costco Wholesale name, that carry brand-name merchandise at substantially lower prices than typical retailers. The stores sell everything from jewelry, appliances and furniture to groceries in gargantuan proportions--bulk baby formula, bucket-sized bags of potato chips and reams of paper towels are standard fare. The company operates stores in Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, U.K. and U.S.16J.C. Penney Co., Plano, Tex.2001 Sales: $32 billion2000 Sales: $31.8 billionIn the midst of a major transformation, J.C. Penney Co. has been upgrading its apparel offerings, while trying to make the shopping experience more pleasant with centralized checkout stations. On the home front, Penney's is testing a new prototype that could double the space given over to home furnishings in certain stores. The dismal economies of Brazil and Mexico have thwarted Penney's growth in those countries.17ITM Enterprises, Paris, France2001 Sales: $31.4 billion2000 Sales: $30.2 billionFrench retailer ITM Enterprises is still having trouble in Germany, where its Spar Handels grocery chain is losing money. The group's difficulties also extend to Italy, where it is believed that ITM will exit operations by yearend. ITM's Intermarche has more than 1,600 supermarkets in France. ITM is also active in Belgium, Bosnia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Spain.18J. Sainsbury, London, England2001 Sales: $29.2 billion2000 Sales: $25.5 billionBritain's second-largest grocery chain, J. Sainsbury, has been offering harried customers such innovations as a one-hour laundry service, promising to have clothes cleaned and ironed during the weekly shopping trip. It is also preparing to launch a new line of products, called Way to Five, in an attempt to persuade consumers to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The company is relaunching its Savacentre hypermarket format and Shaw's in the U.S. is planning to expand outside its New England base.19Ito-Yokado Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan2001 Sales: $29.1 billion2000 Sales: $28.3 billionContinued strength at the Seven-Eleven chain has been a major factor in helping Japanese retail conglomerate Ito-Yokado buck the earnings slump in the domestic retail sector. The convenience store is expanding in Thailand, where it plans to have 2,000 units in operation by yearend. Ito-Yokado also operates in Canada, China, Denmark, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and the U.S.20Edeka Group, Hamburg, Germany2001 Sales: $27.6 billion2000 Sales: $28.8 billionMajority owned by Edeka, AVA operates hypermarkets, opticians and DIY stores. Earlier in the year Edeka said it's long term goal is to control 75 percent of the German retailer. AVA has confirmed plans to open a Marktkauf retail centre in the town of Kotelniki in the Moscow region of Russia in the summer of this year, representing it's first foray into that country.SOURCES: WWD; SUPERMARKET NEWS; DELOITTE RESEARCH; PLANETRETAIL.COM

To access this article, click here to subscribe or to log in.

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus