global powers of retailing 2021

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Global Powers of Retailing 2022

A year of resilience and rising sustainability

Despite economic headwinds and a persistent pandemic, retail sales grew globally by over 5 percent for FY20. Growth was even stronger for Switzerland’s two largest retailers, Migros and Coop, who made considerable gains in the Global Powers of Retailing 2022 rankings. Richemont also improved its positioning among the world’s 250 largest retailers with its FY2020 performance, whereas Basel-based Dufry suffered from the sharp drop in travel and was not included in this year’s ranking.

Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2022 report reviews the global economic scenario and its impact on the retailing industry. The report identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world based on publicly available data for FY2020 (financial years ending within the 12 months from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021), and analyzes their performance across geographies and product sectors. It also provides a global economic outlook, looks at the fastest-growing retailers, and highlights new entrants to the Top 250. This year’s report also offers an assessment of retailers’ rising sustainability efforts.

Download the report

Retail grows despite challenges

Despite the many challenges retailers faced in 2021, the top 250 managed to outpace the previous year in all key growth metrics. In fact, the top 10 retailers saw double-digit growth and even welcomed an entrant from China for the first time ever. And despite the economic churn and uncertainty, retailers were able to ramp up their efforts to better meet the marketplace demand for more sustainable practices and products.

A driving factor for retailers continued to be e-commerce, with consumers still opting to shop from home due to the pandemic. The importance of online capabilities was a contributing factor for this year’s first-ever Chinese top 10 retailer, which also was listed as one of the year’s top 10 fastest-growing retailers. Other key factors in retailer growth were rapid organic store expansion and increased M&A activity.

Especially for Millennials and Gen Z, sustainability is a conscious decision. Not only for an individual product, but for companies and brands overall. Trust and transparency are critical. The greener the brand, the more loyal the customers.

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

Success across sectors

Not surprisingly, the fast-moving consumer goods sector made up the largest share of the Top 250 retailers as grocers continued to benefit from stores remaining open throughout lockdowns. Some of the most successful retailers in the past year were grocers who also had a large digital footprint.

Also experiencing strong growth, hardlines and leisure goods was the most profitable sector in FY2020 and recorded the highest year-on-year retail revenue growth rate. With less travel and more time spent at home, consumers looked to these products to refresh personal spaces and provide entertainment in and out of doors.

The diversified products group recorded the second highest year-on-year retail revenue growth rate after hardlines and leisure goods, with e-commerce being a significant driver among the largest retailers in this sector. And though apparel and accessories retailers took a hit in FY2020, there are signs of this sector rebounding.

Sustainability on the rise

With 55% of consumers stating they had purchased a sustainable product or service in the past 4 weeks, this year’s report also takes a look at how retailers globally are tackling sustainable and responsible growth. Almost all the retailers in the Top 250 have outlined their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments and are publishing ESG-related metrics. The sustainability credentials of their products, as well as their overall brand, are a core part of retailer’s business strategy targeting Millennial and Generation Z customers.

Top 10 and Swiss entries

The leading companies remain relatively unchanged compared to previous years with the exception of China’s online retail specialist JD.com and US discount mass merchandiser Target entering the Top 10 list in FY2020. Swiss companies Migros, Coop and Richemont all improved significantly compared to their 2021 ranking.

Retail’s required reading

The Global Powers of Retailing 2022 report provides a critical snapshot of where retail has been—and where it is heading. And with the global pandemic continuing to disrupt economies, anticipating customer needs has never been more critical.

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