In this article we are going to list the 15 biggest retailers in the world heading int0 2021. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 biggest retailers in the world heading int0 2021.
The retail industry is one of the most integral industries for direct consumers in the entire world, and is also home to some absolute giant companies, including the company with the highest revenue in the entire world. Read on to find out which company that is.
Shopping has evolved over the past decades to a significant effect, while also more or less staying the same simultaneously. However, if we pretend for now that 2020 didn’t exist, because I will get to that later, shopping has never been more convenient than it was in 2019. While the biggest retailers in the world have more or less consolidated their position at the top, there were also some major bankruptcies while some top retailers have adopted forward thinking strategies to boost their sales. This is perhaps one of the few industries which is truly driven by the expectations of the end consumer i.e. us, and the companies which have been able to recognize this and strategize accordingly have proven their superiority over the rest.
In a study conducted by Deloitte, more than two thirds of the customers agreed in what they expected from retailers, which included a fair price, variety and quality of products which thanks to personalized products is available more than ever, and convenience, where customers want a hassle free approach in their shopping, which includes returns as well. However, the industry has also faced industry even before 2020 due to trade tensions between the two superpowers in the world in the United States and China and the threat of tariffs.
More than anything else however, the biggest retailers in the world heading into 2021 have adopted the latest trends and technology, and used it to create a seamless experience for customers shopping around, which is why you will see that our list is dominated by companies which either have a completely online presence or at the very least have a significant online presence. Consumer expectations have become global, and the demand for products being delivered immediately has never been higher, which has led to the development of services such as Amazon Prime. However, studies have shown that the majority of customers would still prefer free delivery over fast delivery. Combining both free and fast experience would definitely provide the ultimate experience which will gain the company employing such methods to gain significant popularity. Customers are more and more willing now to pay premiums for convenience, especially those who won’t really feel a pinch in their pockets for paying the premium, and retailers need to be more geared to take advantage of this trend.
So let’s now address the elephant in the room, which is the Covid-19 pandemic which turned 2020 on its head and threw any and all expectations out of the window. The retail industry has been affected by the pandemic in several ways, some of which are negative and some of which are positive. For starters, the pandemic created a massive challenge for retailers, and has accelerated many trends which had already been slowly emerging in the industry. These trends include reducing costs as far as possible and the increased power of the consumer. Physical retailing has come to a pause more or less as retail stores had to shut down in the initial lockdowns that took place across the globe, which just again emphasized the importance of maintaining a virtual presence, and companies which had a virtual presence actually saw their stock rise and their sales soar as customers who couldn’t leave home started using these online retail websites to place their orders and collect them from the comfort of their homes. Many experts believe that even when the pandemic subsides and things return to normal, this shift to online retailing might become permanent and physical retailing a relic of the past.
Some of the companies in the list of the biggest retailers in the world heading into 2021 will be extremely well-known to most people reading our article, especially if you’re based in America but even globally, since most of the companies in our list our American. These companies have a combined revenue of more than $1.6 trillion, while the profits are worth more than $91 billion. In addition, they have assets of more than $1.1 trillion while considering the fact that this is a very labor intensive industry, these companies provide employment to more than 5.8 million people directly. We have used revenue, assets, profit and number of employees to calculate our rankings, with all our statistics being taken from Fortune, more specifically the Fortune Global 500 list. So let’s take a look at the places you’ve probably shopped from recently, starting with number 15:
15. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 43,638
Total profit of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 1,541
Total assets of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 15,591
Total employees of the company in 2019: 125,000
Best Buy is an electronics retailer and has nearly a thousand locations as well as a strong online presence, and has operations in Canada as well as Mexico in addition of course to the US.