Press releases

Middle East’s retailers on world’s largest 250 reach 13.5% revenue growth

Press release

Middle East’s retailers on world’s largest 250 reach 13.5% revenue growth

10 February 2014 – Despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world’s 250 largest retailers reached $4.3 trillion* in the last fiscal year (June 2012 through June 2013).  The average size of the top 250 retailers exceeded $17 billion according to the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte in conjunction with STORES Media. 

“The global retail industry got off to a difficult start in the last year,” said James Babb, Clients and Industries leader at Deloitte Middle East. “However, it is encouraging to see that the world’s leading retailers were able to plough on through the difficult period to reap the rewards of increased consumer spend. This has served to provide a much needed boost to global revenues with nearly 80 percent of the top 250 (199 companies) retailers posting an increase in retail revenue. Interestingly, for the first time this year’s report shows that some of the top retailers undertook a series of sell-offs in order to remain profitable and ride out the tough trading period,” Babb added. 

Divestments lead to a shake-up of the top 10 global retailers

There was a shake-up among the world’s 10 largest retailers last fiscal year, mostly as a result of a series of divestments. As a group, the top 10 grew more slowly than the top 250 the past fiscal year with retail revenue growth of 4.2 percent versus the 4.9 percent growth in the previous fiscal year. While Wal-Mart increased its lead, Carrefour—formerly the world’s second-largest retailer—fell to fourth place following back-to-back years of declining sales primarily attributable to the spinoff of the Dia hard discount chain in July 2011. Tesco, which jumped this year to second place, was also impacted by discontinued operations after shuttering its Fresh & Easy operations in the United States.

Emerging markets enjoy strong demand while Europe increases dependence on foreign markets

Retailers based in emerging markets continued to enjoy strong consumer demand in fiscal year 2012. Unlike the headwinds retailers in mature markets faced, emerging market tailwinds continued to fuel aggressive organic growth. Emerging market retailers accounted for more than half (26) of the world’s 50 fastest-growing retailers in fiscal year 2012 including all four Russian top 250 companies, six of seven Africa/Middle East retailers, and six of nine based in Latin America.

“Over recent years, the developing economies have emerged as one of the most promising retail markets,” said Babb. “Latin American retailers led the way with 15 percent retail revenue growth followed by retailers in the Middle East/Africa region at 13.5%.  Retailers are successfully adapting their strategies to adequately cater to the growing middle-class consumers in emerging economies where there is strong demand for consumer goods, ranging from cars and electronics to personal care products.”

“Moreover, in Latin America and Africa/Middle East, strong growth continued to yield above-average profitability. In 2012, Latin America retailers produced an industry-leading 4.9 percent net profit margin, and retailers in the Africa/Middle East region realized a 7.2 percent return on assets,” added Babb.

European retailers faced another year of tough trading as the region fell back into recession when austerity measures, put in place to cope with the Eurozone credit crisis, resulted in low growth and high unemployment in many European countries.

To download a copy of the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing report, please visit:  

Press contact
Nadine El Hassan
Middle East Public Relations
Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)
Tel: +961 (0) 1 748444
Fax: +961 (0) 1 748999


About the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing Report

The 2014 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. 

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities.  DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients.  Please see for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.  

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte’s more than 200,000 professionals are committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)

Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is the first Arab professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926.

Deloitte is among the region’s leading professional services firms, providing audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through 26 offices in 15 countries with more than 3,000 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has received numerous awards in the last few years which include Best Employer in the Middle East, best consulting firm, and the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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