Coresight Research is known for our research into, and analysis of, the critical factors that will help drive retail into the future — delivering data-driven insights at the intersection of retail and technology. In this time of unprecedented change, we have re-evaluated the Coresight 100, our focus list of the top 100 largest and most influential companies in the global retail ecosystem.
We look at this as part of our mission to advance the broader retail ecosystem, navigate the disruption and achieve a renaissance in retail. Our list comprises stalwart industry leaders, emerging innovators and disruptors, and includes both public and private companies.
The evolution of retail has picked up speed in the past decade, driven by the rise of e-commerce and technology-fueled competitive advantages. In 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the pace of inevitable retail adaptation. Three years of change have been conflated into six months, during which time retailers globally have been digitalizing and modernizing their supply chains; adopting contactless ordering, delivery and payment; and embracing social media and livestreaming as new ways of reaching consumers.
We believe that our revised Coresight 100 comprises the companies to watch in this tumultuous year for retail. As we approach the holiday season, we expect them to continue to define and lead their respective segments.
We started with a database of more than 600 global retailers, brands, marketplaces, retail real estate management firms and new, innovative service providers — all of which have operations primarily in Asia, Europe and the U.S. We evaluated candidates based on sales, public (stock market) and private valuations, while making room for smaller, innovative companies that we believe are changing the retail landscape. The Coresight 100 companies are valued in the $800 million to $1.6 trillion range with sales in a range from $100 million to $550 billion.
The inclusion of innovators ensures that we capture the most creative, cutting-edge approaches to reinventing retail. We have found that innovators in retail span from global retail powerhouses to the up-and-comers and emerging leaders.
We distilled our retail coverage into eight sectors, of which seven directly address the consumer. We believe that the lines separating retail sectors have blurred as strong brands have increasingly opted out of traditional retail channels to go direct to the consumer, via e-commerce, social media and brick-and-mortar stores. Access is ubiquitous; apparel is sold at dollar stores and luxury flagships, while food is also sold at department stores.
- Food, drug and mass retailers
The “food, drug and mass retailers” category is our largest, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the total 100 companies. This category includes dollar and drug stores, grocers, mass merchandisers and warehouse clubs from around the world. We have British, French, German, Indian and U.S.-based retailers in this group.
Considered to be “essential” retailers amid coronavirus-led lockdowns, these companies benefited from remaining open while other sectors saw temporary store closures, and they rose to the occasion of dealing with rapid demand shifts combined with supply chain bottlenecks.
- Apparel brands and retailers
“Apparel brands and retailers” is our second-largest category — representing one-fifth of the Coresight 100 — and it is worth noting that apparel (and beauty and home, too) is sold in multiple retail sectors, including e-commerce and new commerce. This category includes traditional specialty apparel retailers as well as global apparel brands that began as wholesale brands (traditionally sold through department stores, mass merchants, specialty and off-price retailers) and have started to sell direct to the consumer, both online and offline.
- E-commerce and new commerce
“E-commerce and new commerce” spans multiple product categories. What’s new with the Coresight 100 is “new commerce”— innovative disruptors that are creating new markets as they solve old and new consumer needs. We have included marketplaces, social shopping, consignment, live-streaming and rental.
In total, we include 19 e-commerce/new commerce companies that increasingly represent the ways in which the world discovers, shops and buys.
- Luxury brands
Coresight Research covers many of the leading global luxury names, spanning global portfolio luxury companies to single-brand entities, from aspirational to haute couture. Our focus list includes 13 luxury companies that together have over 100 individual luxury brands, spanning product categories from luxury outerwear and small leather goods to fine jewelry and watches.
- Beauty brands and retailers
In “beauty brands and retailers,” we cover four distinct beauty portfolio companies and beauty retailers, in addition to captive beauty brands and retailers.
- Department stores, including luxury and off-price
Our department store coverage includes luxury, moderate and off-price department stores for a total of nine companies.
- Home, home-improvement and electronics stores
In the category of home, home-improvement, consumer electronics and appliance specialty stores, we cover six companies.
- Retail real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Finally, since the vast majority of retail today still occurs in a physical location, Coresight covers five major retail REITs, a few of which have global holdings.
The Coresight 100 list is not limited to public companies: we also cover large influential private companies, such as European discount grocers, a renowned luxury product company, and an e-commerce company that recently filed to go public.
On a geographic basis, the Coresight 100 follows our diverse geographic footprint; we have offices in China, Europe, India and the U.S. One of our highlights is our coverage of the Indian retail market, including three retailers spanning e-commerce, fashion and grocery. Our longstanding relationships in China enhance our coverage of Chinese marketplaces and e-commerce companies as well as providing insights into retail globally.
One of Coresight Research’s major themes is New Retail, which originated in China and uses technology and data to fuse online and offline commerce in a seamless fashion.
For a thorough look at the Coresight 100 companies, visit coresight.com.
Deborah Weinswig is the founder of Coresight Research. The company offers clients research subscriptions, in-person and virtual events, advisory services and innovator intelligence, which supports entrepreneurs with lead generation, brand awareness and thought leadership.