The Top 250 global retailers generated aggregated revenues of $4.4 trillion in fiscal year 2016, representing composite growth of 4.1%, according to the Global Powers of Retailing 2018: Transformative change, reinvigorated commerce report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.
“The global economy is currently in the midst of a period of relatively strong growth and benign circumstances. Growth has accelerated in Europe and Japan, stabilized in China and the US, and revived in many other emerging markets,” explained Ira Kalish, Deloitte Global Chief Economist.
“For retailers, the stronger economic growth is most welcome. Yet they must also contend with the negative consequences of rising income inequality, protectionist actions, and the potential impact of monetary tightening.”
Meanwhile, Herve Ballantyne, Partner and Consumer & Industrial Products Industry leader, Deloitte at Middle East said: “Emke Group/Lulu Group International, Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC and Savola Group appear on this year’s Top 250 retailers, a testament to the Middle East’s attractiveness for retailers.”
“Together, the Africa/Middle East region’s 10.9% growth rate and 4.8% net profit margin composite in FY2016 were among the highest of the five geographic regions.”
Global Powers of Retailing Top 250
According to the report, the top five largest retailers maintained their positions on the leader board. A combination of organic growth, acquisitions, and exchange rate volatility shuffled the rest of the Top 10.
For the first time in four years, the apparel and accessories retailers were not the clear growth leaders, but they remained the most profitable sector.
Retailers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are by far, the largest companies (average retail revenue of nearly $21.7 billion) as well as the most numerous (135 retailers accounting for 54% of all Top 250 companies and two-thirds of Top 250 revenue).
Europe’s share of the Top 250 dropped again, with 82 retailers based in Europe (85 in FY2015, 93 in FY2014) and the gap widened versus North America. However, despite dropping share, European retailers remain the most globally active as they search for growth outside their mature home markets.
Nearly 41 percent of their combined revenue was generated from foreign operations—almost twice as much as the Top 250 group as a whole, said the report.
Transformative change, reinvigorated commerce
The report reveals that innovation, collaboration, consolidation, integration, and automation will likely be required to reinvigorate commerce, profoundly impacting the way retailers do business now, and in the future.
The four trends identified in the report are:
– Building top-notch digital capabilities. Retailers across the globe are rapidly adapting to the fact that, from the consumer perspective, shopping is not about bricks versus clicks or one channel versus another. Instead, consumers are channel-agnostic.
– Combining bricks and clicks makes up for lost time.Many players that may have initially been on the sidelines, failing to keep up with digital trends, are now making up for lost time in a big way.
– Creating unique and compelling in-store experiences.Physical retail stores are not going away; 90% of worldwide retail sales are still done in physical stores. But to compete with the convenience and endless aisle assortment offered online, meaningful customer experiences and brand engagement is crucial.
– Reinventing retail with the latest technologies.The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and robots should be on every retailer’s radar.
“It is a transformative time in retail. The shopper is clearly in the driver’s seat, enabled by technology to remain constantly connected and more empowered than ever before to drive changes in shopping behavior”, said Ballantyne.
“Across the retail industry, disruption of traditional business models has given way to unprecedented and transformative change—change required online and offline to better serve more demanding shoppers and redefining customer experience.”