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Deloitte report: Global retail revenues continue to increase despite economic woes

Revenues from the world’s 250 largest retailers reached $4.3 trillion


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Revenues from the world’s 250 largest retailers reached $4.3 trillion; increased divestments resulted in a shake-up among the world’s 10 largest retailers 

Despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world’s 250 largest retailers reached $4.3 trillion* in the last fiscal year (June 2012 through June 2013). The average size of the top 250 retailers exceeded $17 billion according to the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), in conjunction with STORES Media.  For the first time ever, the report also includes a list of the world’s top 50 e-retailers** and found that more than three-quarters of them (39 companies) are part of the top 250 retailers globally.

“The global retail industry got off to a difficult start in the last year,” said Dr. Ira Kalish, DTTL Chief Global Economist. “However, it is encouraging to see that the world’s leading retailers were able to plough on through the difficult period to reap the rewards of increased consumer spend. This has served to provide a much needed boost to global revenues with nearly 80 percent of the top 250 (199 companies) retailers posting an increase in retail revenue. Interestingly, for the first time this year’s report shows that some of the top retailers undertook a series of sell-offs in order to remain profitable and ride out the tough trading period,” Kalish added.  

Divestments lead to a shake-up of the top 10 global retailers

There was a shake-up among the world’s 10 largest retailers last fiscal year, mostly as a result of a series of divestments. As a group, the top 10 grew more slowly than the top 250 the past fiscal year with retail revenue growth of 4.2 percent versus the 4.9 percent growth in the previous fiscal year. While Wal-Mart increased its lead, Carrefour—formerly the world’s second-largest retailer—fell to fourth place following back-to-back years of declining sales primarily attributable to the spinoff of the Dia hard discount chain in July 2011. Tesco, which jumped this year to second place, was also impacted by discontinued operations after shuttering its Fresh & Easy operations in the United States.

Emerging markets enjoy strong demand while Europe increases dependence on foreign markets

Retailers based in emerging markets continued to enjoy strong consumer demand in fiscal year 2012. Unlike the headwinds retailers in mature markets faced, emerging market tailwinds continued to fuel aggressive organic growth. Emerging market retailers accounted for more than half (26) of the world’s 50 fastest-growing retailers  in fiscal year 2012 including all four Russian top 250 companies, six of seven Africa/Middle East retailers, and six of nine based in Latin America.

“Unfortunately, the size and level of activity of the Ukrainian retail market preclude domestic companies from achieving the necessary success to enter the rankings. However, market players such as Fozzy Group, ATB Market and Epicenter K are showing, through their revenue growth and increased numbers of outlets, that they have the potential to find themselves ranked among the world’s 250 largest retailers in a few years,” said Olga Shamritska, Retail leader at Deloitte (Ukraine). “Last year, Ukraine’s retail market was characterized by a high rate of new outlet openings by both key domestic players (including those mentioned above, as well as Novus, Brusnichka and Nash Kraj) and subsidiaries of the largest global retailers (such as Billa and Watsons), as well as consolidation processes. The acquisition of Nova Linia by retail chain Epicenter K and that of the Ukrainian Eldorado retail chain by Technopolis are among the most significant transactions that took place”, she continued.

“Over recent years, the developing economies have emerged as one of the most promising retail markets,” said Vicky Eng, DTTL Global Sector Leader, Retail. “Latin American retailers led the way with 15 percent retail revenue growth followed by retailers in the Africa/Middle East region.  Retailers are successfully adapting their strategies to adequately cater to the growing middle-class consumers in emerging economies where there is strong demand for consumer goods, ranging from cars and electronics to personal care products.”

European retailers faced another year of tough trading as the region fell back into recession when austerity measures, put in place to cope with the Eurozone credit crisis, resulted in low growth and high unemployment in many European countries. Retailers based in Germany and particularly the UK underperformed on the top line compared with Europe’s top 250 retailers as a whole.  Asia/Pacific retailers (excluding Japan) posted solid gains, but not at the double-digit level seen in the prior two years. Japanese retailers recovered from a devastating fiscal year 2011 but continued to trail the other countries and regions analyzed.

In the United States, growth cooled to 4.3 percent for the top 250 U.S. retailers, down from 6.3 percent in fiscal year 2011. For the North American region as a whole, and Canada in particular, revenue growth got a boost from c-store operator and licensor Alimentation Couche-Tard. As a result of a significant acquisition in 2012, Couche-Tard is now the largest retailer based in Canada. 

Top 250 dominate e-retail ranking

E-commerce accounted for a significant share of total retail revenue for the e-50 in fiscal year 2012 accounting for nearly one-third of company sales, on average (including the pure-play e-retailers). The vast majority of the e-50 (42 companies) in the e-retail ranking are multi-channel retailers; only eight are non-store or web-only retailers. Most e-50 retailers are based in the United States (28) and Europe (17), and only five are emerging-market companies.

E-commerce activity was also analyzed for the top 250 as a whole. Top 250 companies with e-commerce operations generated an average 7.7 percent of their sales online in fiscal year 2012. From a regional perspective, e-commerce accounted for the largest share of revenue for North American retailers and the smallest for European retailers. Online sales grew fastest for Asia/Pacific retailers and slowest for North American retailers.

“Players on the Ukrainian retail market tend to keep up with popular trends, and are in the process of rapidly developing in the area of e-commerce, alongside more traditional store distribution channels. Several major retailers of groceries (Novus, Furshet, Metro), home appliances and electronic goods (Comfy), luxury cosmetics and fragrance brands (Brocard, L'Etoile) have begun providing their customers with the opportunity to make purchases via the Internet”, Olga concluded.

Top 10 retailers:

Retail revenue rank (FY12) Name of company Country of origin 2012 retail revenue
(US$m)
1 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. U.S. 469 162
2 Tesco PLC U.K. 101 269
3 Costco Wholesale Corporation U.S. 99 137
4 Carrefour S.A. France 98 757
5 The Kroger Co. U.S. 96 751
6 Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG Germany 87 236e
7 Metro AG Germany 85 832
8 The Home Depot, Inc. U.S. 74 754
9 Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG Germany 73 035e
10 Target Corporation U.S. 71 960

e = estimate

*Companies were ranked by total retail revenue, not just retail sales. For purposes of this analysis, retail revenue includes royalties and franchising/licensing fees as well as wholesales sales to affiliated/member stores or other “controlled wholesale space” operations (e.g., in-store shops or identity corners).

**E-retailing, as defined in this analysis, includes B2C e-commerce only (i.e., where the company owns the inventory and the revenue reflects e-retail sales). Companies that primarily operate as e-marketplaces are excluded from the e-50 list as their revenues are largely derived from fees and commissions on sales from third-party sellers (consumers or other businesses that own the inventory) rather than directly from the sale of goods.

About the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing Report

The 2014 Global Powers of Retailing report identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world and provides an outlook for the global economy, trends for retailers to consider in the coming months, and an analysis of market capitalization in the retail industry.

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

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