Deloitte Report: Retail revenues rebound despite global downturn

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Revenues of the world’s 250 largest retailers topped $4 trillion, emerging markets home to nearly half of 50 fastest-growing com

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New York – 14 January 2013 - The revenues of the world’s 250 largest retailers topped $4 trillion* in fiscal year 2011 (encompassing companies’ fiscal years ended through June 2012), according to the 2013 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), in conjunction with STORES Media.  This is a 5 percent year-on-year increase in retail revenue despite the global economic downturn. Additionally, according to the report retail revenue rose significantly for companies based in emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan).

“Growth opportunities for many of the world’s largest retailers continue to be driven by global expansion in an attempt to make up for slow-growing or stagnant domestic markets,” said Dr. Ira Kalish, Director of Global Economics at Deloitte Services LP in the United States. “Despite a stumbling global economy, consumers continued to spend in 2011, which has served to boost global revenues. This year’s report shows a growing number of retailers in mature markets ramping up their efforts in foreign markets in search of more attractive growth opportunities, employing multiple market entry strategies including franchising, licensing and joint ventures, in addition to owned expansion,” Kalish added.  

Wal-Mart, the American multinational retailer, which accounted for more than 10 percent of total top 250 revenue, acquired South Africa’s Massmart in June 2011, its biggest deal in more than a decade.


Emerging markets fuel 50 fastest-growing companies

The report attributes continued growth in emerging markets to the burgeoning middle classes, youthful populations, and sizeable foreign direct investment. These emerging markets accounted for almost half (24) of the 50 fastest-growing companies over the 2006-2011 period. Chinese and Russian retailers are well-represented among the fastest 50, as well as retailers from Africa/Middle East and Latin America.

“The growth in large emerging markets such as China is projected to add at least 70 million new consumers to the global middle class per year, which is an additional 500 million new middle-class consumers by 2020. This new wave of consumption represents a huge opportunity for consumer businesses,” said Vicky Eng, Global Retail Lead, Deloitte LLP in the United States.  “A significant investment by a company is required to successfully expand and operate in emerging markets, including gaining a deep understanding of local consumers’ tastes and preferences, forging a strong cultural fit with local partners, and attracting and retaining local talent.”

The report indicates that composite retail revenue for the fastest-growing 50 rose by 22 percent on a compound annual basis over the 2006-2011 period, more than four times faster than that for the top 250 as a whole. While the fastest-growing 50 companies are based on revenue growth over a five-year period, most of the retailers on the list maintained their aggressive growth in 2011. 


More North American retailers step across domestic borders

In 2011, for the first time, the share of North American top 250 retailers that remained single country operators fell to less than half.  Many U.S. retailers have made their first international expansions close to home, moving to Canada, Mexico or Puerto Rico. Still, only 15 percent of the North American region’s retail revenue came from foreign operations. Asia Pacific was the only region with a lower percentage of foreign revenues, driven by limited international expansion of the Japanese companies. In contrast, fewer than 20 percent of European top 250 retailers operated exclusively within their national borders in 2011. They derived 38 percent of total revenue from foreign operations, far more than any other region.


Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) outpaced fashion and hardlines retailers

A notable change from 2010 was that retailers of FMCG outpaced fashion and hardlines retailers, posting 6 percent revenue growth.  Revenue growth declined for fashion goods retailers in 2011, to 5 percent from 7 percent in 2010.  The hardlines and leisure goods sector posted good profitability and solid gains in revenue in 2011, though not as robust as in 2010.

Press contact

Carolyn Vadino

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

Global Communications

+ 1 212 436 6970

Notes to editors:

This year, for the first time, 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). About the 2013 Global Powers of Retailing Report

The 2013 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.

2013 Global Powers of Retailing report

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