South Africa’s biggest retailers: Woolworths vs Spar vs Pick n Pay vs Shoprite
Professional services group Deloitte has published its annual Global Powers of Retail report for 2019, ranking the 250 biggest retail groups across the world – including four from South Africa.
The ranking is based on publicly available data for FY2017, covering fiscal years ended through June 2018. Deloitte analyses a company’s performance across geographies, sectors, and channels.
In previous years, five South African retailers were ranked, with the 2019 reporting marking the first time multinational retail group Steinhoff has dropped off the list, following its accounting fraud scandal that emerged in 2017/18.
With Steinhoff dropped, Shoprite has emerged as the biggest South African retailer on the list, with retail revenues growing from $10.34 billion to $11.29 billion.
While Shoprite is the largest retailer in the country, it’s still only ranked 86th, globally.
US wholesale and retail giant, Wal-Mart remains the biggest retail operation in the world, with retail revenue at a massive $500.34 billion – 44 times larger than Shoprite.
Walmart is also almost four times larger than its closest competitor in the rankings, Costco, which saw revenues of $129 billion in the year.
Online retailer Amazon.com was ranked fourth, with revenues totalling $118.6 billion, only just below the third-ranked Kroger Co., which had revenues just under $119 billion. Amazon has continued to climb the ranking over the past few years, and has shown a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18% since 2012.
Germany’s Schwarz Group rounds out the top five, with retail revenues of $111.8 billion.
According to Deloitte’s report, the top 20 biggest retailers in the world are dominated by US companies, with half the list coming from the States. Four German companies are listed, two Japanese companies, and one each from the UK, France, the Netherlands and China.
These are the top 20 biggest retailers in the world:
South African retailers
Among South Africa’s biggest retailers, Shoprite is followed by Spar, Pick n Pay, and then Woolworths. Shoprite ranked 86th overall – far ahead of Spar (140th) and Pick n Pay (160th) and Woolworths (179th), which were outside the top 100.
Over a five year period, Spar has shown the highest CAGR of 17.4%, with Woolworths following at an annual growth rate of 14.3%.
Shoprite’s CAGR since 2012 has been 9.4%, with Pick n Pay showing the lowest growth at 6.6% – though this is above local inflation.
Woolworths and Spar were both ranked among the fastest-growing retailers list published in the same report, with Spar ranking as the 29th fastest-growing retailers (out of 50), and Woolworths ranking 38th.
The table below outlines how South Africa’s biggest retailers compare in the Deloitte report.