These Are the Top 50 Retailers in the World, Says NRF

MajorsMar 24, 2022

These Are the Top 50 Retailers in the World, Says NRF

The National Retail Federation shared what makes the top-ranked companies so successful.

Walmart once again took the top spot on the National Retail Federation’s “Top 50 Global Retailers” list, released Wednesday. The list ranks companies based on domestic and international revenues, and retailers must be present in at least three countries to be considered.
New York—The National Retail Federation released its list of the top 50 global retailers Wednesday, and some familiar names were at the top.

The NRF works with Kantar Retail to create the list, ranking companies based on domestic and international retail revenues. Retailers need to have direct investments in at least three countries to make the cut.

The list also shares insights on what contributed to the success of the top-ranked companies.

A U.S. retailer—Walmart—was in the top spot, raking in $538.15 billion in revenue in 2021.

The NRF has published a list of the top retailers in the world for more than 20 years, said a spokesperson, narrowing it down to 50 in 2019. Walmart has consistently been No. 1.

In 2021, Walmart leveraged its logistical advantages to attract customers of varying income levels, said the NRF.

The ability to buy across platforms appealed to higher-income shoppers who may have otherwise shopped at Amazon.

To serve lower-income customers, Walmart expanded access to online shopping by offering affordable internet access. The company partnered with AT&T in May 2021 to offer low- or no-cost internet and wireless plans as part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, an FCC program created to provide broadband access to those who can’t afford it as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another U.S. retailer,, came in second place, with $330.2 billion in revenue last year.

The key to Amazon’s success has been expansion, moving into new markets in Latin America and Asia while also expanding its in-house logistics to fulfill orders quickly.

The company is bolstering its Amazon Web Services division by adding new products and services, and upping its physical store network, said the NRF.

It’s also showing off its technical know-how via its touchless “Just Walk Out” payment system available at its new Amazon Fresh stores and existing Amazon Go stores.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Schwarz Group and Aldi, two Germany-based discount grocery store companies, took the third and fourth spots.

Schwarz Group, which owns Lidl and Kaufland grocery stores, is the largest retailer in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, said the NRF, with 2021 revenue totaling $158.58 billion. 

The privately-held company is balancing store remodels in Western Europe while slowly growing its U.S. footprint, mainly in the mid-Atlantic states. 

Like Amazon, it also has invested in bolstering its fulfillment capabilities, as well as growing its online presence.

Aldi’s keys to success are a common theme in the top five: investing in online growth, bolstering logistics and store expansion.

The No. 4 company, with 2021 revenue of $134.67 billion, is the strongest retailer in Central Europe, said the NRF, and one of the fastest-growing retailers in the United States, opening stores in new regions while also setting its sights on new markets like China.

“The company continues to integrate its global sourcing, international logistics and e-commerce operations into a highly standardized model,” said the NRF.

Costco came in fifth place, with 2021 revenue totaling $187.16 billion.

The value of the company’s membership model has grabbed the attention of international middle-class shoppers, said the NRF. The high member retention rate has given the company stable funds to open new warehouses and boost its e-commerce capabilities. 

“Its low SKU count and rotating available product have worked in its favor within the tight international inventory environment. Costco is also reinvesting in services to enhance member value,” said the NRF.

The National Retail Federation also took a look at the challenges retailers faced in 2021, and how they were able to succeed in spite of those obstacles.

The apparel sector benefited from pent-up demand when malls and shopping districts reopened, but those dependent on imports faced an uphill battle trying to match 2020 levels.

A logistics slowdown, coupled with a shortage of packaging materials like plastic and aluminum, hampered food retailing.

Retailers across the board in most countries faced labor shortages, which took a toll on operating hours and service capabilities.

The inventory and labor issues were so widespread, however, that shoppers adjusted to them and continued spending, but not at the same level as 2020.

The NRF and Kantar said they are keeping an eye on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impact on global retail.

The full list of the top 50 global retailers can be found on the NRF’s website.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

Supplier BulletinJun 30, 2022
Here’s Where You’ll Find The Best Online Jewelry Auctions

Sponsored by HiBid

CrimeJun 30, 2022
What JSA’s Annual Report Tells Us About Jewelry Crime in 2021

Plus, JSA President John Kennedy talks about the trajectory of industry crime over the last 20 years.

CrimeJun 30, 2022
Smash-and-Grab Robbers Hit Booth at TEFAF: Watch the Video

The fair was evacuated temporarily Tuesday after four suspects smashed a showcase and stole jewelry from British jeweler Symbolic & Chase.

Brought to you by
Preparing for Proposal Season with High-Quality, A.I.-Graded Natural Diamonds

Rare & Forever is helping to create an enjoyable diamond buying experience for the millions of newly-engaged couples.

Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Nominations Are Open for Gem Awards 2023

The 21st annual awards show and gala will take place in New York City next March.

Weekly QuizJun 23, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Registration Open for JIS Fall in Miami

The jewelry trade show is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

AuctionsJun 29, 2022
Bonhams Expands Again with Purchase of Paris Auction House

It is the fifth acquisition under the ownership of private equity firm Epiris, which bought Bonhams in 2018.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

WatchesJun 29, 2022
Bulova Introduces New Frank Sinatra Watches

The brand again partnered with the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School to celebrate the launch of the “Summer Wind” watches.

SurveysJun 29, 2022
U.S. Platinum Jewelry Demand Starts 2022 on a Strong Note

Retail ounce sales were up 23 percent year-over-year in Q1, according to the recent Platinum Jewellery Business Review.

Events & AwardsJun 29, 2022
Registration Is Now Open for the HardRock Summit 2022

Scheduled for Sept. 8-11, the event will comprise more than 310,000 square feet of show floor, exhibits, and education space.

ColumnistsJun 28, 2022
The PR Adviser: Why Should Someone Buy From You?

If you’re having trouble answering this question, columnist Lilian Raji can help you get a started with a few fill-in-the-blank statements.

IndependentsJun 28, 2022
This Jeweler Is Celebrating 40 Years With 40 Days of Giveaways

Continental Diamond in Minneapolis is awarding a total of $25,000 in prizes via daily sweepstakes.

CollectionsJun 28, 2022
Melissa Kaye’s New Collection Doubles the Color

“Lenox” marks the designer’s foray into bespoke jewels and large colored gemstones.

Events & AwardsJun 28, 2022
Second AGS Virtual Education Conference Is All About Negotiation Skills

“Confluence” is happening in August.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
Mayors, Analog:Shift Team Up With Goop

The lifestyle platform will stock fine jewelry and watches from the retailers on its website and in store.

CrimeJun 27, 2022
JSA Warns of ‘Pandemic’ of Distraction Thefts Nationwide

It cited two recent cases in California, plus incidents in Florida, Kansas, and Illinois.

IndependentsJun 27, 2022
Lewis Jewelers Set to Open New Ann Arbor Store This Summer

The 10,000-square-foot location allows for expanded collections from design partners while continuing custom design and other services.

CollectionsJun 27, 2022
This Designer Has Found a New Way to Bring Gemstones to Life

Svetlana Lazar’s “Wishing Well” collection utilizes an innovative component to mimic the movement of water beneath them.

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

MajorsJun 24, 2022
Banter by Piercing Pagoda Celebrates Pride with ‘SayGay’ Necklace

All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.

TechnologyJun 24, 2022
Cloud-Based POS Software Jewel360 Launches for Jewelry Retailers

The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.

EditorsJun 23, 2022
Antique Show Observations From a First-Time Attendee

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow shares her impressions of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show and a few of her favorite finds.

GradingJun 23, 2022
AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.

SourcingJun 23, 2022
Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

Sales were up 36 percent year-over-year in June and are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year at this point.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy