Amidst constant change, largest retailers stay ahead

“Retail today is a blend of innovation and experience, and the nation’s top retailers are showing the way.”

Susan Reda
STORES Media Editor

WASHINGTON – Launching new strategies, augmenting the in-store experience and reengineering both logistics and digital commerce capabilities helped the largest U.S. retailers maintain their edge during the past year, according to the annual Top 100 Retailers list released today by the National Retail Federation’s STORES Magazine and Kantar Consulting.

“Retail today is a blend of innovation and experience, and the nation’s top retailers are showing the way,” STORES Media Editor Susan Reda said. “Companies large and small are transforming their businesses in the quest to satisfy shoppers who rewrite the rules of engagement faster than light.”

The 10 largest retailers on the list remain the same as last year, although the order has changed. Walmart remains the largest, followed by Kroger. But Amazon has jumped to No. 3 from No. 7, with Costco slipping from third place to fourth and The Home Depot dropping from fourth to fifth. Walgreens Boots Alliance remains at No. 6, with CVS dropping to seventh place from fifth. Unchanged are No. 8 Target, No. 9 Lowe’s and No. 10 Albertson’s.

“Walmart holds the coveted top spot in part because they never stop innovating,” Reda said. “From risk-taking acquisitions to embracing emerging technologies and spearheading initiatives that empower the business to be a force for good, Walmart sets a high bar.”

Most of the companies showed sales growth last year, but Amazon experienced the largest percentage growth as it expanded its online presence into bricks-and-mortar retail with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market and provided new services like grocery delivery and Prime Wardrobe.

“We find ourselves at a point in U.S. retail evolution where key players are moving from a more divided approach of ‘online’ versus ‘bricks-and-mortar’ strategies to those that cater to the more holistic reality of shoppers and commerce,” said Kantar Consulting Senior Vice President of Insights and Operations Sara Al-Tukhaim. “This will continue to pave the way for exciting and innovative retail partnerships, targeting growth both within and increasingly outside the realm of retail.”

For in-depth analysis on retail power players and notable trends within the nation’s largest retail companies, read the complete article on

Rank This Year/Last Year


2017 U.S. Sales

Percentage Sales Growth


Wal-Mart Stores

$374.8 Billion



The Kroger Co.

$115.89 Billion




$102.96 Billion




$93.08 Billion



The Home Depot

$91.91 Billion



Walgreens Boots Alliance

$82.75 Billion



CVS Health Corporation

$79.54 Billion




$71.88 Billion



Lowe’s Companies

$63.13 Billion



Albertsons Companies

$59.72 Billion


About the Survey
The STORES Top 100 Retailers are listed by U.S. sales, which may include estimates for private or closely held companies. Retailers included in the Top 100 either have group headquarters located in the United States or are foreign entities with significant operations in the U.S. market. For retailers with group headquarters located overseas, data is presented for North American operations only. Revenues from major non-retail operating segments are excluded where data availability allows.

About Kantar Consulting
Kantar Consulting is driven to switch on growth. With over 1,000 analysts, thought leaders, software developers, and expert consultants, we help clients develop and execute brand, marketing, retail, sales, and shopper strategies to deliver growth. Kantar Consulting owns market-leading assets, including PoweRanking®; GrowthFinder; Global Monitor; Kantar RetaiI IQ; RichMix; XTEL; and Marketing, Insights, and Purpose 2020. We track 1,300 retailers globally; have purchase data on over 200 million shoppers; and forecast social, cultural, and consumer trends across the world. For further information please refer to: or

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.