global powers of retailing 2021

Perspectives

Global Powers of Retailing 2021

Our annual Global Powers of Retailing report identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world based on publicly available data for FY2019 (fiscal years ended through 30 June 2020), and analyses their performance across geographies and product sectors. It also provides a global economic outlook, looks at the 50 fastest-growing retailers, and highlights new entrants to the Top 250. Despite its small size, Switzerland counts two retailers, Migros Group and Coop, in the Top 50.

The aggregate retail revenue for the Global Powers of Retailing Top 250 companies reached US$4.85 trillion in FY2019 (up from US$4.74 trillion in the previous year). Growth increased to 4.4% (currency-adjusted composite year-over-year growth rate), higher than the previous year’s 4.1% growth.

Swiss retail leaders Migros and Coop maintained their strong position in the Top 50 coming in at 40th and 46th respectively. Richemont held steady at rank 96 after breaking into the top 100 last year. Although Dufry dropped four spots to 124 compared to prior year, it was still considered one of the Top 50 Fastest Retailers with an impressive 16.2% compound annual growth rate since 2014.

What a difference a year makes

To align with the methodology of previous editions, our 2021 study looked at publicly available data for FY2019 (fiscal years ended through 30 June 2020). Looking at 2020, the retail segment in Switzerland enjoyed growth. Grocery retailers performed particularly well with many consumers prioritising food purchases over other products. During the stricter European lockdowns in spring and winter, Swiss retailers benefitted from border closures with neighbouring countries forcing the Swiss to shop at home rather than Germany, France and Italy, a common weekend ritual.

The Migros Group performed remarkably well in their 2020 financial year growing sales by over 4 per cent to CHF 29,947 billion. Consumers in Switzerland embraced online shopping in ever larger numbers and Migros Group saw its online sales grow over 45 percent, exceeding 10 per cent of their total sales to a tune of CHF 2,995 billion. Similarly, Coop enjoyed a strong year in FY20 growing sales by over 14 percent to Chf 30.2 billion. They also saw growth in their e-commerce sales of over 45 percent to CHF 232 million.

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In 2020 we saw a big shift to online and we believe this shift is now consolidating. One in ten consumers across Europe now shop online for food. We have seen similar growth in non-food – with stores shut, consumers have quickly adapted to shopping online.

Karine Szegedi, Consumer industry lead and Member of the Executive, Deloitte Switzerland

Quantity AND quality

Swiss consumers were not only shopping in greater quantities, but also for greater quality. Both Migros Group and Coop saw sales of organic and regional products grow to CHF 1,213 billion and over CHF 2.0 billion respectively.

Switzerland is generally a traditional and protected market, where the penetration of e-commerce giants, such as Amazon, is still relatively low. However, Swiss retailers also needed to, and did, respond to shift in online shopping with improved e-commerce offerings, technology and website user-friendliness. The pandemic accelerated the Richemont Group to further develop its digital capabilities with online sales partially mitigating the losses experienced in 2020 due to store closures and non-existent tourism. Their online retail sales remained resilient and grew stronger contributing to 19% of Group sales in FY 2020 compared to 16% in 2019.

Dufry faced a challenging 2020 with international travel restrictions negatively impacting their retail operations. Sales in FY20 were down nearly 70%. However, Dufry’s business development activities were strong in 2020 including the opening of their exclusive duty-paid landside store ANECDOTE at the Circle, Zurich Airport, new operations at Istanbul’s International Airport and new store openings in the US, Finland, Italy, Australia, Brazil and others. Through the opening of new retail outlets and the refurbishing and expansions of several existing ones, Dufry is well positioned to capitalise on the pent-up demand once the travel flood gates are fully open again.

Global Powers of Retailing 2021 – the summary

In the early months of 2021, the world was faced with both promise and peril. On the positive side, the distribution of vaccines for COVID-19 was under way, offering the promise that the negative impact of the virus could abate significantly. On the negative side, the virus continued to threaten economic stability. Even in places where the outbreak was limited, there was a negative economic impact from social distancing measures to avoid a further outbreak. The challenge for policymakers was to control the outbreak, protect those who have been disrupted, and speed up the distribution of vaccines. The success of these imperatives will determine the path of the global economy in the year ahead.

Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2021 reviews the global economic scenario and its impact on the retailing industry. A new section in this year's report is a short preview of next year’s Global Powers of Retailing report—looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the retail revenue growth of the Top 25 global retailers in FY2020 (i.e. fiscal years ended through 30 June 2021).

Key findings from the report

  • The aggregate retail revenue for the Global Powers of Retailing Top 250 companies was US$4.85 trillion in FY2019, with an average size of US$19.4 billion per company.
  • The minimum revenue for a company to enter the Top 250 rankings is US$4.0 billion, up from US$3.9 billion in the previous year.
  • The Top 10 list continued to be dominated by American companies, with seven of the ten companies being based in the United States.
  • Amazon.com became the second largest global retailer, overtaking Costco.
  • The world’s Top 10 retailers are more globally focused, with operations on average in 13.0 countries versus 11.1 for the overall Top 250. However, their share of retail revenue from foreign operations fell to 25.5%, from 25.8% in the previous year, as several companies divested foreign subsidiaries.
  • Europe has the highest number of Top 250 retailers, with 87 companies based in the region. North America has the highest share of Top 250 retail revenue (47.1%).
  • Migros and Coop maintained their strong position in the Top 50, Richemont held steady at 96th, and Dufry is one of the Top 50 Fastest Retailers
  • Fast-moving consumer goods continues to be the largest product sector. Its 135 companies (54% of companies) generated 66% of the Top 250 retail revenue in FY2019.
  • Nine of the 12 new entrants to the Top 250 in FY2019 are based in Asia Pacific.
  • E-commerce and discounters drove high retail revenue growth among the Fastest 50 companies.

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