Global powers of retailing

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Top global retailers enjoy a year of revenue growth despite a bumpy economic environment and digital disruption

Migros and Coop amongst the top 50 retailers worldwide

Zurich, 19 January 2016

The top 250 global retailers generated aggregated revenues of USD 4.5 trillion in fiscal year 2014, representing a steady growth of 4.3% compared with 4.1% in 2013, according to the Global Powers of Retailing 2016 report from Deloitte. This is a positive signal for the industry, which had witnessed revenue declines in previous years. However, the picture is uneven by region with retailers in North America and Africa/Middle East enjoying revenue growth, while those in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America having endured declining growth.

Swiss retail market leaders Migros and Coop remain in the top ranks of the 250 largest retailers worldwide: Migros (with retail sales of USD 25.6 billion) at number 40 – two positions down from last year’s 38th rank – and Coop (USD 24.7 billion) at number 43, up from number 50 last year. Compagnie Financière Richemont, ranked at number 142, remains one of the fastest growing retailers globally, with USD 6.9 billion of retail revenue last year and a 17.9% retail revenue compound annual growth rate over the last five years. For the first time, the Swiss travel retailer Dufry entered the ranking at 203rd place with sales of USD 4.4 billion.*

“Slower economic growth in several markets, lower inflation, falling oil prices, and a stronger US dollar were among dynamics which generated mixed fortunes for retailers across different regions,” explains Howard da Silva, Consumer Business Industry Leader at Deloitte in Switzerland. “The Chinese economy has considerably slowed down, mainly due to weak exports and weakening investment. Nevertheless, overall consumer spending held up fairly well, although the luxury sector faltered. And the latter had a significant impact on Swiss watchmakers.”

For European retailers, revenue growth fell to a five-year low as 30% of the region’s top 250 retailers experienced negative sales growth and another third saw their growth rate decline but remain positive. The composite 2.1% year-over-year growth rate was the slowest since 2009 and the lowest of the five geographic regions. As competition remained fierce both offline and online, many European retailers continued to downsize – closing stores, retreating from difficult foreign markets and building smaller-footprint stores.

Karine Szegedi, Consumer Business Industry Partner at Deloitte in Switzerland, comments: “The appreciation of the Swiss franc in January 2015 put Swiss retailers under pressure and required them to adapt their strategy to allow them to continue on their growth journey.”

* The report is based on revenues through the analysis of publicly available data for fiscal year 2014 (including companies with fiscal years ending June 2015).

Download the report

Global Powers of Retailing 2016

The impact of digital technology: A new “digital divide

Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2016 report also highlights the rapidly increasing digital connectivity of shoppers and the impact of technology on retailers. Digital technology and easy access to digital information not only affects sales within digital channels, but also has a much broader impact on in-store shopping and consumer experience. Digital behaviors and expectations of consumers are evolving faster than retailers are delivering on those expectations, creating a "digital divide."

“There is a gap between what consumers expect and what retailers are currently delivering in terms of the consumer’s evolving desire to incorporate digital into their in-store shopping experience,” says Howard da Silva. “Some retailers may underestimate the digital influence, while others recognize the real opportunity to capitalize on this digital divide.”

The report identifies three underlying trends:

  • One digital size does not fit all customers. Digital behavior varies depending on demographic factors such as age and income, and by the product type being sought.
  • Consumers are demanding better digital tools. Digital tools and channels can both extend a retailer's reach and increase revenue, but customers are currently feeling unsatisfied and underserved by many retailers’ current digital offerings.
  • No single path toward digital adoption. While all markets are moving toward widespread digital adoption, some are taking somewhat different routes. Some emerging markets, for example, are entirely skipping adoption stages previously experienced by developed markets.

The Top 10 retailers worldwide and the Swiss companies in the Top 250

Retail revenue rank (FY14)
Name of company
Country of origin
2014 retail revenue (USD mil)


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.




Costco Wholesale Corporation




The Kroger Co.




Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG




Tesco PLC




Carrefour S.A




Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG




Metro AG




The Home Depot, Inc.




Walgreen Co. (now Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.)








Coop Group




Compagnie Financière Richemont SA




Dufry AG



e = estimate                                                       

* Revenue includes wholesale and retail sales


About the 2016 Global Powers of Retailing report

The 2016 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world based on revenues through the analysis of publicly available data for fiscal year 2014 (including companies with fiscal years ending June 2015). The report analyses performance based on geographic region, primary product sector, e-commerce activity, and other factors. It also provides a look at the world’s 50 largest e-retailers, an outlook for the global economy, and an analysis of market capitalization in the retail industry.

About Deloitte in Switzerland

Deloitte is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory. With more than 1,400 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters), Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of over 225,000 employees in more than 150 countries.

Note to editors

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte AG, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, which is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries are leading business advisers, providing audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services through more than 14,000 exceptional people across the UK and Switzerland. Known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programmes, it is dedicated to helping its clients and people excel.

Deloitte AG is an audit firm recognised and supervised by the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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