The Top 50 Global Retailers is a fresh look at the 50 most international retailers based on their operations at the start of 2019. The methodology uses a system in which points are given to retailers based on their international revenues, their participation in franchising and alliances outside of their local region, and their ability to sell via online marketplaces. To qualify for the rankings, retailers need to have a direct investment in at least three countries, at least one of which is not adjacent to the domestic market. Explore the complete list below, or take a closer look at 2020's rundown.
|Ranking||Retailer||Home country||Business foundations||Ranking points||Total company revenues (billions)||International revenues (billions) *||Total worldwide incl. domestic (# stores)||International (# stores)||Countries of first-party operation||Expand all|
|3||Schwarz Group||Germany||Discount grocery||180,741||$123.25||$79.41||12,100||8,251||28|
|11||Walgreens Boots Alliance||USA||Drug||75,190||$115.99||$11.46||13,882||4,605||16|
|12||Seven & I||Japan||Convenience||72,946||$61.51||$25.28||66,200||44,400||3|
|15||The Home Depot||USA||Home improvement||67,327||$108.20||$8.82||2,287||306||6|
|26||Adeo Group||France||Home improvement||40,151||$27.25||$17.68||800||345||15|
|27||AS Watson||Hong Kong SAR||Drug||37,254||$21.46||$17.68||14,976||14,360||26|
|28||Jeronimo Martins||Portugal||Discount grocery||34,787||$20.45||$16.37||4,094||3,662||3|
|34||Yum Brands + Yum China||USA||QSR||27,077||$13.12||$10.56||45,084||27,007||139|
|39||Kingfisher||United Kingdom||Home improvement||22,660||$15.61||$9.90||1,331||408||10|
|40||Dairy Farm||Hong Kong SAR||Drug||22,588||$11.75||$10.46||9,747||7,279||11|
|48||Lotte Shopping**||South Korea||Ecommerce||11,145||$16.21||$2.03||1,577||125||4|
|49||Z Holdings (Yahoo Jp)**||Japan||Ecommerce||6,989||$8.65||$0.43||0||0||1|
To qualify for this year’s rankings, companies had to meet several criteria. Both publicly and privately owned companies were considered, and the businesses reviewed between October and December 2019.
First, the company needed to be a retailer, defined as either a goods-for-consumer resale operation or a restaurant business open to the public. Second, the company must have direct selling operations in at least three countries, one of which must not be an adjacent territory to the retailer’s home country. Offshore tax havens, territories and protectorates are disqualified from consideration as a country. Third, when reviewing franchise operations, the company must hold the global license to franchise the store name in the majority of countries where the franchise operates.
The review process looked at three elements of business models, with international direct selling capabilities qualifying as the first point of review. Where reported, teams took the size of the company’s international retail sales for the most recent 52-week filing period, in the currency provided, and converted the figure to U.S. dollars. Exchange rates were converted using the rate the company published where published; otherwise, we used the exchange rate published by the Federal Reserve Bank for the fiscal period. Generally speaking, reviewed annual filings were published between March and September 2019.
The second point of review was company franchise sales, where they had granted other retailers the right to run the franchise. Where the franchise sales value was reported, often called total system-wide sales, we took this figure and applied the same currency exchange rate methodology as in the first review. When the system-wide sales were not reported, we took the values from the reports provided by area franchisees.
The third point of review was marketplace sales and sourcing alliances. Marketplace sales are those where the retailer provides the digital platform (website, mobile app or voice ordering system) and assists shoppers with delivery options but will allow a large number of sellers to list products on the platform. Many companies that operate marketplaces report gross merchandise value (GMV); where this was reported we took the number. In instances where it was not reported, we estimated the value based on daily website traffic and other metrics. When reviewing sourcing alliances — where two or more retailers purchase goods from a wholesaler together or create private label products together — we looked at the size of the partner retailers in the alliance.
After looking at all three elements, we created a points system giving the most points to retailers with international direct selling, a lower number of points to retailers with international area franchise agreements and a limited number of points to retailers using marketplaces or buying alliances to generate international scale.
Sources for this year’s reports included annual reports, public filings and press statements, as well as consumer research on shopping patterns. Much of this data is collected by a global team of analysts who work throughout the year on the estimates. This information is shared with subscribers to Kantar’s online platform for retail performance data, www.kantarretailIQ.com.