International players in the game

Taking a closer look at global retailers on the Hot 25
Sandy Smith
NRF Contributor
August 17, 2023

The National Retail Federation’s annual Hot 25 Retailers list ranks the nation’s fastest-growing retail companies, based on increases in domestic sales between 2021 and 2022. Chedraui is in the No. 1 spot, followed by Raley’s Supermarkets, Primark Stores, Schwarz Group and 7-Eleven. This series takes a closer look at some retailers represented in the list.

Retail is an increasingly global game, as proven by those at the top of the Hot 25, NRF’s annual list of fastest-growing retailers: Four of the top five are based outside of the United States. Mexican grocer Chedraui tops the list, followed by Irish fashion retailer Primark (No. 3), German grocer Schwarz Group (No. 4) and Japanese-owned 7-Eleven (No. 5).

2023 Hot 25 Retailers List

NRF's Hot 25 Retailers ranks the nation’s fastest-growing retail companies.

View the complete chart.

So which global brand might make the list next year? David Marcotte, Kantar senior vice president, looks south for the answer. “I expect to see other Latin American companies come in,” Marcotte says. “Not European or Canadian. They don’t have a good history of coming into the United States and doing well. It’s a different market, not bad management.”

Mexico in particular has a level of retail sophistication that is often overlooked, he says. So Marcotte’s best bet for next year’s list is Mexican convenience store Oxxo, the third-largest retailer in Mexico. “They’ve been talking very clearly that they want to come to the U.S.,” he says. “If they do, you’re looking at an enormous company with a huge war chest, estimated to be $8-$9 billion.”

An added bonus, he believes: “Mexican retail companies understand American retail and they understand the risk. They don’t see it as easy.”

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