The World's Largest Retail Businesses

The global economy is in a state of constant fluctuation. Several businesses and industries have experienced quick rises and fall in the past few years, but the only industry that has shown steady increases in growth over a prolonged period is the Retail Industry. Retail businesses, which specialize in selling consumer goods, are one of the most important parts of the global economy, and have shown a consistent increase in annual revenues of around 5% in the years after 2010.

In essence, retailing is a simple form of business. A retailer purchases products or goods in bulk from manufacturers either directly or through wholesale, and sells them to consumers in small quantities in order to earn a profit. There are several retail industries worldwide that supply goods to the public either through stores or markets, or door-to-door delivery services.

However, establishing a retail business takes years, and maintaining the quality of products at an affordable price is equally tough. This is why many new retaiers, though they have some early success, can't last long. Bigger industries, on the other hand, tend to have staying power thanks to the brands and quality they've established. Maintaining retail chains requires a global endeavour to succeed, and finding the perfect marketplace and working with multiple marketing strategies throughout decades have seen many retail industries prosper and strengthen their brand name, without being affected much by any of the new competitors in the market.

Here are the top 10 largest retail businesses around the world. Some are in partnerships with other retailers, and all are in competition to increase sales and gain the attention of consumers from all around the world.

9 The Walgreen Company - Revenue: $71.6 Billion

Walgreens is the largest retail drug company, supplying consumers with health and wellness services, plus pharmaceuticals, through its retail drugstores. Founded in 1901 in Chicago, Illionois, USA by Charles R. Walgreen, this retail industry several operates in most areas of the United States, with a total of 8,300 locations. The Walgreen Company has a revenue of $71.6 billion, and assets worth $33.5 billion, with a total equity of $18.2 billion.

8 The Target Corporation - Revenue: $73.3 Billion

Target is an America-based retailing company originally known as the Dayton Dry Goods Company. Regarded as one of the most philanthropic and admired retailers, it is the second largest discount retailer in America (just after Walmart), and ranks 36th on the Fortune 500 list as of 2013. The company runs over 1,788 stores that operate globally. Founded by George Dayton in 1902, the Company now has a total revenue of $73.301 Billion. Its operating income is $5.34 Billion with a total of $3 Billion as net income. The Target Corporation's revenue for 2013 was $73.3 billion. The company has total assets worth $48.2 billion, and a total of $16.6 billion as total equity.

7 Aldi - Revenue: $73.3 Billion

Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Compagnie is a global discount retailer based in Germany. Founded in 1913, the Aldi chain split into Aldi Markt and Aldi Sud in 1960, and have operated independently since. Initially, Aldi produced cheap goods that people could not otherwise afford anywhere, leading them to market prominence. Aldi has since expanded outside of Germany, venturing to several parts of France, Denmark, UK, Ireland, Australia, and Switzerland. With over 8,000 stores worldwide, Aldi carried sanitary articles, beverages, food, and other inexpensive household goods. The company has a total revenue of $73.3 Billion.

6 The Home Depot - Revenue: $74.7 Billion

The Home Depot is an America based retail industry founded in 1978. Based on home improvements and construction-based goods and products, Home Depot has a major presence in countries like Mexico, Canada, and China. The company is one of the largest home improvement retail businesses. with an annual revenue of $74.7 billion and an operating income of $7.9 billion. Home Depot has total assets of $41.1 billion and total equity of $17.8 billion. It has also been a major promoter of fundraisers for environmental causes, human rights campaigns, and sporting events.

5 Metro AG - Revenue: $92 Billion

Metro AG, also known as the Metro Group, is a Germany-based group, and the biggest retailer in Germany. With an international presence all over Asia, Africa, and Europe, Metro AG is regarded as one of the most globalized retail industries in the world. Established in 1964, the business includes Metro Cash and Carry, Real, Media Markt, and Saturn among its divisions. This Germany-based company has total revenue of $92 billion, and an operating income of $1.1 billion. This retail giant maintains total assets worth $47.9 billion, and total equity of $8.4 billion. Recently, the company also threatened Microsoft with a lawsuit, unhappy about the software company's launch of an interface they named 'Metro,' which they claimed as being a trademark of their business.

4 Kroger - Revenue: $96.8 Billion

Founded in 1983, Kroger is one of America's largest grocery store chains. Kroger's business is based in supermarkets, superstores, jewelry stores, and department stores. With an operating income of $2.8 billion, Kroger is one of the largest retail grocers in the world, employing 343,000 people and bringing in annual revenue of $96.8 billion. It has a total net income of $1.5 billion, assets of $24.7 billion, and total equity of 3.981 billion. Kroger also launched the Kroger Marketplace in 2004, which has since become one of the most popular big-box stores.

3 The Costco Wholesale Corporation - Revenue: $97.1 Billion

The Costco Wholesale Corporation is a membership-only warehouse club that supplies a wide variety of merchandise. Having the largest membership chain in the world, Costco has 626 stores all around the world, most concentrated in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan. It is one of the fastest growing retail businesses in the world, going from start-up to $3 billion just in five years, and now featuring prominently on the Fortune 500 list. Founded in 1983, the company has total revenue of $97.1 billion, and an operating income of $2.8 billion. It has net income of $1.7 billion, total assets worth $27.1 billion, and total equity of $12.4 billion.

3. Carrefour - Revenue: $105 Billion

Carrefour is a France-based multinational retailer with one of largest hypermarket chains in the world. The Carrefour operates its business in several countries all over Europe, Argentina, China, Brazil, UAE, Quatar and Saudi Arabia, and also in some other major Asian markets. The largest retail industry in France and the seventh largest in the world, Carrefour boasts a total revenue of $105 billion, and has a total operating income of $2 billion. Maintaining a net profit of $1.7 billion, the company has a total assets worth $63.2 billion, and total equity of $11.5 billion.

2 Tesco PLC - Revenue: $106.2 Billion

Tesco PLC is the largest multinational grocery and general merchandise retail industry in the United Kingdom. With a presence in about 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, this company globalized its retail industry by expanding its retail stores across several parts of the world. With 6,351 global stores, the Tesco retail industry supplies products related to books, electronics, furniture, clothing, petrol, finance, internet and telecommunication, and software, among others. Tesco has a total revenue of $106.2 billion and operates with an income of $5 billion. The company maintains a very high net income of $203 billion. With assets of $82.2 billion, the company has a total equity of $27.2 billion.

1 Walmart - Revenue: $469.2 Billion

Walmart is the world's leading retailer, a position it has comfortably held for many years. With operations in more than 15 countries, Walmart ranks third among the world's largest public corporations, and tops the American list. The company enjoys total revenues of $469.2 billion as of 2013, and has a total operating income of $28 billion. Walmart has a net income of $17 billion, has assets worth $203.1 billion, and total equity of $76.3 billion. Owned by the Walton family, Walmart has more than 2.2 million locations worldwide.

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