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Top global retailers highlighted in Deloitte report


17 February 2012:  Australian retail giants, Woolworths and Wesfarmers, have been listed in the world’s top 25 retail companies for the second consecutive year, according to the Deloitte Global Powers of Retailing 2012 report released in Australia today.

The report, which identifies the 250 largest retailers by revenue globally for the fiscal year 2010, lists Woolworths in 18th (20th last year) and Wesfarmers in 21st position (23rd last year).

“Woolworths and Wesfarmers have clearly punched above their weight during uncertain times globally. Their resilience, combined with the strong Australian dollar has contributed to their solid performance on a global basis,” said Andrew Griffiths, Assurance & Advisory partner and Deloitte’s consumer business leader.

“The report showed that other companies in the top 25 originate mainly from heavily populated countries such as the United States, Germany, UK, Japan and France.  If you add the fact that most of those retailers also operate in multiple countries, you get a far better appreciation of the relative strengths of Australian retailers,” added Mr Griffiths.

Woolworths and Wesfarmers maintained their third and fourth places respectively in the Asia-Pacific top ten, which for the first time included Chinese based retailer Gome Home Appliance and for the second time Bailian. Japanese retailers now hold five spots in the Asia-Pacific top ten.

Wesfarmers acquisition of Coles in November 2007 significantly influenced the West Australian-based company’s 2005 to 2010 compound growth rate.

Andrew Griffiths said the playing field has now changed for retailers with more power being given to the consumer particularly given the growth in mobile devices which are changing the way consumers shop.

“Australian consumers are becoming savvier and are increasingly taking charge of their shopping experience by using many different sources of information and channels. Consumers are using mobile devices to get real-time information about price, the closest store or product,” said Mr Griffiths.

“Since customers do not distinguish between channels, retailers will have to support seamless integration among all their channels such as access to their full range of products, customer information, and order information.  In 2012, retailers will need to continue developing innovative multichannel solutions in order to cater for consumers’ changing needs,” said Mr Griffiths.

Other key global findings include:

  • Aggregate sales of the top 250 retailers reached US$3.94 trillion.
  • The share of total top 250 retail sales accounted for by the top 10 retailers slipped again in 2010 to 29.4 percent, down from 30 percent in 2009 and a high of 30.2 percent in 2008.
  • Tesco PLC once again became the world’s third largest retailer, overtaking Metro AG by virtue of consistently solid sales growth over the last few years.
  • The proportion of sales generated from foreign operations increased to 23.4 percent in 2010, up from 22.2 percent in 2009 and higher than the previous peak of 22.9 percent in 2008.
  • The pace of globalisation increased last year, with 88 new market entries made by 40 retailers across 57 countries.

Please download the full media release below. 


Last Updated: 


Ben Findlay
Job Title:
Communications Director
Tel: +61 2 9322 7576; Mob: 0404 157 121
Andrew Griffiths
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Tel +61 2 9322 7035




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