Everyone knows which traditional retailer is the world’s largest in terms of sales, but No. 2 on the list might come as a surprise to some.
Grocery retailer The Kroger Co. generated some $119.7 billion in sales in 2018 — well behind Walmart’s $387.7 billion, but higher than any other brick-and-mortar retailer, according to research firm Kantar, which compiled the annual Top 100 Retailers list for the National Retail Federation's Stores magazine. Walmart had 5,263 stores operating at the end of 2018, while Kroger had 3,035.
The Kroger Co. generated $119.7 billion in sales last year
What makes Kroger’s high placement particularly impressive is that it is a niche retailer, confining itself mainly to groceries.
Apart from the mainly brick-and-mortar retail side, nontraditional omni-channel retailer Amazon.com came in behind Walmart — albeit at quite a gap — with upwards of $120.9 billion in sales last year. Amazon had 490 stores at the end of 2018, according to the list.
“Whatever the future may hold, the present is still dominated, at least in terms of sales, by retailers with a bricks-and-mortar heritage”
Costco, Walgreens and The Home Depot occupied the fourth, fifth and sixth spots, respectively.
“Whatever the future may hold, the present is still dominated, at least in terms of sales, by retailers with a bricks-and-mortar heritage,” notes the magazine. “Bricks-and-mortar accounts for about 90 percent of total sales.”
By Edmund Mander