Falling oil prices help top global retailers sustain year of revenue growth
Lulu group ranks among 25 fastest growing retailers
27 January 2016 – The top 250 global retailers generated aggregated revenues of US$4.5 trillion in fiscal year 2014, representing a steady growth of 4.3 percent compared with 4.1 percent in 2013, according to Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing 2016: Navigating the new digital divide. This is a positive signal for the industry which had not so long ago witnessed revenue declines in 2011. 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 enduring declining growth.
“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 Dr. Ira Kalish, Deloitte Global Chief Economist. “For US retailers the strength of the US dollar meant increased purchasing power for US consumers, helped also by better economic growth and improving employment conditions in the US. The Chinese economy on the other hand slowed considerably during this time, mainly due to weak exports and weakening investment. Nevertheless, consumer spending held up fairly well, although the luxury sector faltered.”
“Despite plummeting oil prices and its impact on the economies in the Gulf, one of the region’s retailers, the Lulu Group not only achieved revenue growth but it also managed to retain its position as one of the fastest growing retailers in the world,” explains Herve Ballantyne, partner and Consumer & Industrial Products leader at Deloitte Middle East.
“According to the Deloitte “Global Powers of Retailing 2016” the eight retailers representing the Africa/Middle East generated composite growth of 19.4 percent, which is 4.5 times greater than the “Top 250” as a whole. The emerging markets have done a lot to immunize their economies from the effects of the global economic crisis in 1998. Governments reduced deficits and “Debt to GDP” levels, accumulated vast foreign currency reserves and also improved the solvency and transparency of their financial institutions. It appears those efforts were not enough as they were still not immune to global issues. The end result has been substantial slowdown in growth in many countries. On the other hand, since the past year, oil prices have plummeted which has resulted in disinflationary pressure in many countries thereby boosting consumer spending in major markets. For the world’s leading retailers, the weakness of oil process has mostly been good news”, remarked Abbas Ali Mirza, Audit Partner, Deloitte Middle East.
Bottom-line performance was also uneven across the geographic regions, but the overall direction was down. The report indicates that the top 250 retailers posted a composite net profit margin of 2.8 percent in 2014, compared with 3.4 percent in 2013.
The impact of digital technology
Global Powers of Retailing 2016 also highlights the impact of technology on in-store shopping, indicating the rapidly increasing digital connectivity of shoppers. Digital behaviors and expectations of consumers are evolving faster than retailers are delivering on those expectations, says the report, creating a "digital divide." Three important trends are identified:
- 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.
- One digital "size" does not fit all customers. Digital behavior varies depending on demographic factors such as age and income, and also 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.
“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,” explains Ballantyne. “Some retailers may underestimate the digital influence, while others recognize the real opportunity to capitalize on this digital divide.”
To read the report, visit http://bit.ly/23sFAR1
About the study
The Global Powers of Retailing 2016. Navigating the digital divide is a report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global). It 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 analyzes 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, an analysis of market capitalization in the retail industry, as well as an introduction to key findings of the forthcoming Deloitte report on Navigating the New Digital Divide: A global summary of findings from nine countries on digital influence in retail.
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 www.deloitte.com/about for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.
Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax and related 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 220,000 professionals are committed to making an impact that matters.
About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.):
Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is a leading professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926.
Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through 26 offices in 15 countries with more than 3,300 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 also received numerous awards in the last few years which include best employer in the Middle East, best consulting firm, the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), as well as the best CSR integrated organization.