A look at the 2024 Top 50 Global Retailers

Stalwart market leaders Walmart, Amazon, Schwarz Group, Aldi and Costco top the list.
David Marcotte
Senior Vice President, Global Insights & Technology, Kantar
Top Retailer list compiled by

The Top 50 Global Retailers is a fresh look at the 50 most impactful international retailers based on their operations from the start of 2023. 

NRF Top 50 Global Retailers 2024 List

View the complete Top 50 Global Retailers 2024 list.

The Top 50 Global Retailers of 2023 reflect the economic uncertainties stemming from a potential global recession and disrupted supply chains. These new challenges come on the heels of the difficulties retailers weathered during the pandemic.

Retailers started to reinvest in physical stores and ecommerce integration in 2023, but were saddled with added costs from higher wages, product sourcing and cybersecurity. In many countries, a rise in retail-related crime had moderated by the end of the year.

For most companies in this ranking, retail sales and profits grew even as shoppers changed their work and personal routines and the channels they shopped. China suddenly ended its zero-COVID policy at the end 2022 and started to allow its citizens to travel abroad as 2023 progressed. Retail sales initially surged in China but fell back due to a general slowdown in critical manufacturing sectors. The Top 50 list reflects this dynamic, with all Chinese companies falling a number of places relative to their spots on the 2022 list.

Operational, logistical changes and challenges

Most of the severe limitations on global and regional supply chains eased as 2023 went on. By the end of the year, most areas of the logistics industry had far more capacity than demand, which resulted in significantly lower costs.

For example, the price to ship a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Los Angeles/Long Beach, Calif., went from a historical high of over $20,000 in late 2022 to less than $2,000 by December 2023. Trucking, rail and air all declined as well to pre-2020 rates. Warehousing costs also dropped over the same period as excess inventory from unpredictable fulfillment in 2022 gradually eased.

Even though the Russia-Ukraine war ground on in 2023, most markets had adjusted to shipping and route disruptions. The grain trade from Ukraine was largely restored once routes safe from Russian attacks were established in the Black Sea. The Russian oil trade also continued despite attempts to limit it with international trade rules and sanctions.

However, a new logistics challenge arose when the Israel-Gaza conflict erupted in October 2023 and effectively closed the Red Sea, which came under missile and armed drone attacks from Yemen in support of the Palestinian cause. Excess capacity allowed shipping companies to rapidly reroute vessels around southern Africa, which raised costs going into 2024.

Retail labor remained an issue in 2023 in many countries. However, the major shortages and turnover that were common in 2022 were not as severe in 2023 since new workers and more training re-established this critical workforce.

The exceptions were pharmacists and in-store technicians to the point where over 1,000 drugstores closed in the United States alone. Labor costs continued to rise in 2023, with a number of successful union negotiations and strikes resulting in better pay and benefits. The severe retail labor shortage in most regions impacted not only in-store services (especially pharmacies), but also warehouse management and logistics. The use of self-checkout that had accelerated in 2022 continued to do so in 2023.

Global inflation had moderated in most countries by the end of 2023, but food prices continued to rise, making shoppers more aware of the cost of their overall baskets. Most countries investigated and recommended actions on food prices, including, in a few cases, price freezes and price reversals on key food items. Inflation in other retail channels had less impact on shoppers’ perceptions and decisions.

Supply chain

Explore NRF's supply chain content, events, resources and advocacy issues here.

Apparel retailers returned to slow growth in most markets with added competition from Chinese online retailers Shein and Temu. Most supply chain issues resolved in 2023 and were less of a planning factor than they were in 2022.

In most countries outside the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, malls and shopping districts returned to the aggressive growth and remodels that were the norm in 2019.

Cybersecurity continues to be a major concern across retail. Internationally, the financial impact appears to be rising, with several large CPG companies and retailers losing up to a full quarter of net margin from attacks that froze systems and disrupted partner integrations. Ransoming data became hackers’ preferred way of getting victims to pay to regain control of their IT environments.

While hackers have redirected their attacks to public institutions and medical facilities, viewing them as soft targets likely to pay more rapidly than those in retail, investments to protect retail from these attacks are draining industry funds.


Any comparison of retailers operating in multiple countries is made difficult by currency exchange rates. In addition, retailer rankings are normally created using reported consolidated revenues, which dilute the impact that joint ventures, franchises and marketplaces can have on helping retailers take their operations international. Most retailers generate the bulk of their sales from domestic operations, allowing those with the biggest domestic markets to appear to have the largest international operations, which is not always the case.

Kantar has worked with NRF to produce this ranking of the Top 50 Global Retailers that seeks to maximize discussion, debate, education and exploration opportunities.

Kantar’s ranking methodology uses a system that awards points to retailers based on their domestic and international retail revenues. To qualify for the ranking, retailers need to have a direct investment in at least three countries.

In alignment with Kantar’s Retail IQ methodology, only retail-specific revenues determined ranking points even as the largest global retailers expand outside of retail revenues.

Most retailers in Kantar’s scope of coverage operate in the food, drug and mass merchandise channels. To offer users a robust view of global retail trends, Kantar also covers retail leaders across all channels globally, but not exhaustively.

The top 10 most international

Walmart remains the world’s largest retailer domestically and internationally, with significant commitments to a new online marketplace and fulfillment model. Within the Top 50, Walmart continues to face competition from Amazon, Schwarz Group, Aldi and Costco.

The major Chinese online players Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com still lead retailers in the overall group but have struggled due to changes in China’s regulatory environment that have limited each company’s advantages in financial technology, innovation and logistics.

The Top 10 retailers did not change in 2023 from 2022, and all retained their positions within the Top 10 from 2022. Retailers in the Chinese market that had been the fastest growing before the pandemic have slowed considerably due to the impact of the zero-COVID lockdowns on domestic trade. In addition, their international markets have softened. Government engagement and new regulatory limits on company size and complexity have also impacted their growth.

Alibaba underperformed in 2023 relative to 2019 due to proposed changes in its financial and logistics divisions. JD.com is focusing more on its logistics expertise and has partially backed away from new financial technology. PDD Holdings, on the other hand, successfully expanded to international markets with its Temu ecommerce site. The fast-rising Shein has been disrupting global markets with its low-cost, fast-fashion business model.



1. Walmart

Walmart held its position as the largest global retailer despite relatively little store growth. It maintained its ranking with a robust online marketplace and a range of new financial resources for shoppers. These new tools, which have been particularly effective in Mexico and Chile, make online shopping accessible for lower-income shoppers and offer them new ways to manage their budgets.

Walmart’s large retail media platform, Walmart+, has become a predictable income stream that continues to expand outside the U.S. The Mexican and Central American division has returned to 2019 growth levels with over $40 billion in sales. The retailer continues to invest in its membership programs for omnichannel retail and ecommerce infrastructure for continued growth.

2. Amazon

Amazon boxes

Amazon continued to post double-digit growth, though with different strategies than it has followed in the past. Its shift to focusing on profits and limiting some of its more unproductive experiments has resulted in strong net margins. The company’s third-party marketplace fees and requirements have resulted in higher profits — and more scrutiny from the EU and U.S. government on its business practices. Outside the U.S., the company struggled with growth and profits in most markets. The stores division centered its shift to grocery on the 800-store Whole Foods chain, resulting in greater revenue overall, even while a number of underperforming Amazon-bannered stores were closed.

Amazon is expanding its fulfillment and logistics services globally to support its core business and third-party services. Strong results from the AWS cloud group provided a predictable base for capitalization and cash flow while supporting the retail media platform that contributed significantly to the company’s operating margins throughout the year.

3. Schwarz Group

The Schwarz Group had a successful 2023 as Europe’s largest retailer and fourth largest in the world. Its Lidl and Kaufland banners remained strong performers across most value channel formats. Revenue is also increasing at the group’s PreZero environmental division and in the manufacturing group that makes own-label products for its stores.

Schwarz Group has been able to fund store growth while broadening store remodels, online penetration and fulfillment capabilities in its Western European markets. The company is investing in supply chain automation and digitalized operations. The group has evolved its Schwarz Media Platform and StackIT cloud operation that has enabled it to operate a closed-loop, wholly owned infrastructure.

4. Aldi

The Aldi organization has a wide geographical reach, especially in Europe, but both the Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord divisions will always look for new markets for international expansion. Aldi’s international growth had been steady in 2023 until it announced the surprising purchase of 400 Winn-Dixie and Harvey’s supermarkets in the southeastern U.S. in August 2023.

Aldi continues to prioritize the U.S., U.K and Australia for investments and innovation. The store assortment is more localized than is typical for a value grocer, while stores remain solely focused on execution as the company invests in better store experiences and online access. As the strongest retailer in Central Europe, Aldi has benefited from predictable markets that fuel further global expansion.

5. Costco

Costco Wholesale

Costco expanded its warehouse format to a range of countries outside the United States in 2023 by appealing to the generally common aspirations and needs of the global middle class. This focus allowed it to execute its product and services model in a standard format while retaining over 90% of members in all countries where it operates.

Costco is now firmly the second-largest retailer in Canada and continues expanding in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, upsetting stable markets with new shopper expectations for unique products and experiences. In response to members’ needs, Costco has moved cautiously into online sales in most markets. Its low SKU count and product rotation have worked in its favor given international inventory requirements. Costco is reinvesting in services to keep driving member value.

6. Ahold Delhaize

The unified company in the U.S., Ahold of the Netherlands and Delhaize of Belgium, built on the strong performance of remodeled stores across most of its banners, digital tools for shoppers and expanded omnichannel fulfillment capabilities. Merchandising excellence from the European Ahold chain continues to show in department refreshes and messaging. Its value banners have been an integral part of the retailer’s ongoing growth in the U.S. and Europe with an improved in-store experience, stronger shopper messaging and better-integrated loyalty apps.

Ahold Delhaize in Europe continues to leverage best-in-class smaller grocery stores combined with an effective real estate strategy. Own-label improvements were evident in the U.S. with larger assortments in the basket.

7. Carrefour


Carrefour’s growth has shifted from the retailer’s hypermart formats to grocery, online and the “atacado” cash-and-carry format. Latin America has emerged as Carrefour’s largest market, contributing close to 40% of revenue despite sales declines in Brazil due to store closings.

Franchise arrangements have allowed Carrefour to grow in the Middle East and North Africa while maintaining market share in the highly competitive markets of France and Central Europe. Carrefour’s overall European operations are doing well with almost all revenue growth coming from online retail and greater volume from small express pantry stores. Carrefour is also expanding its retail media capabilities in partnership with Publicis Groupe under the name Unlimitail.

8. Seven & I

Seven & I Holdings is facing demographic challenges in its home market of Japan. The majority of Seven & I’s holdings are in the 7-Eleven convenience banner in the U.S. and Japan with franchise holdings in South Asia, Europe, Canada and Mexico.

Seven & I continues to operate department stores with the expectation that “retail tourists” will visit Japan now that pandemic lockdowns have lifted. The retailer’s 7Now ecommerce and fulfillment division continues to grow and expand in the U.S. and Japan.

9. The Home Depot

The Home Depot’s stronger-than-expected 2023 built on the solid uplift in home improvement sales during the pandemic. Sales at the largest home improvement retailer in the U.S., Canada and Mexico continued to grow in 2023 thanks to strong pro (contractor) sales in these markets and robust home furnishing and household appliance sales in Mexico.

Partnering and providing dedicated merchandising space to higher-quality tool makers like Milwaukee and Ryobi reinforces The Home Depot’s position as a dedicated source for professionals. The retailer’s loyalty program is well targeted to the business-to-business needs of pro shoppers who drive channel revenue growth and help the retailer capture more of that critical shopper base. The Home Depot is widely regarded as having best-in-class ecommerce and omnichannel integration.

10. Ikea


Ikea renewed its store growth in 2023 with 71 new locations as the home furnishings retailer looked to fulfill more at-home needs. In all markets where it operates, Ikea focuses on shoppers in transition: young adults moving into their first apartments, newlyweds, parents and older homeowners transitioning to new housing.

Ikea has been reducing prices in its main product lines through new sourcing and designs. Evaluating its global logistics networks has been part of that effort to ensure lower-cost inventory. New smaller-format stores are opening in a range of urban locations around the world.

Just missing the international cut

Aside from the previously mentioned Chinese retailers, the strength of value retail in multiple markets in 2023 drove changes among the remaining 40 retailers on the Top 50 list.

Vertically integrated apparel companies such as Inditex did well in most markets, though H&M and Fast Retailing fell several positions compared with their 2022 placements.

Shoppers in 2023 repeatedly said they needed more convenience from retailers. Hong Kong-based A.S. Watson, Japan’s FamilyMart and Canada-based Couche-Tard (usually under the Circle K banner) all fulfilled that demand.

In urban markets, small pantry grocery formats operated by Tesco, Auchan, Casino and Spar International did well. All these retailers continued to open stores in existing markets. Jerónimo Martins, known for its discount formats in Colombia and Poland, also expanded its chain of large atacado stores in Colombia.

Walgreens Boots Alliance held its position despite selling its Latin American holdings. Due to their mix of formats, Germany’s Rewe and Japan’s Aeon were able to hold their own in the markets where they compete.

Casino continued to do well in Latin America but still plans to sell most of its assets in that market to support new growth in Europe. Chilean retailer Cencosud did well in 2023 while starting to leverage best-in-class merchandising from its newly acquired U.S. grocer, Fresh Market. Falabella, on the other hand, found its success in Mexico tempered by declining ecommerce and department store chains in Latin America.

All of these retailers have made big investments in omnichannel and integrated financial services across multiple groups. Carrefour Brazil has become the main revenue driver for the overall group after buying a number of chains, including the former Walmart banners. It also entered into a franchise agreement with Sam’s Club in Brazil with over 40 locations.

The consumer electronics business continued to regroup internationally with aggressive promotions in the last quarter of 2023. Apple continued to do well with new product lines. While all experienced small sales drops, Best Buy, Ceconomy and Euronics held their positions in the Top 50.

Based on what Kantar saw at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show, expect more digital enablement in stores and more practical uses of RFID. Greater resolution and a broader color palette have improved LED signs and tags to boost engagement. Self-checkout continues to evolve, combining RFID, QR codes and UPC reads along with improvements to visual product recognition. Omnichannel is still a growth area but with more emphasis on store integration and enablement. Labor shortages are an ongoing concern, though the impact has softened and employee retention is improving the store experience in most markets.

In 2024, expect more movement in the retail rankings as the market changes to respond to these realities.

Related content

NRF Unveils 2024 Top 50 Global Retailers
NRF Unveils 2024 Top 50 Global Retailers
Read more
NRF Releases 2023 Top 50 Global Retailers List
The National Retail Federation today released its annual list of the Top 50 Global Retailers, conducted by Kantar.
Read more