Largest North American Retail Companies by Revenue

Wal-Mart Opens First 24-Hour 'SuperCenter' In LA County
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North America is the home to most of the world’s largest retailers. Between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. retail industries, retail sales totaled over 5.30 trillion in 2016. That number is predicted to grow to $5.80 trillion by 2018.  

Canada and Mexico each have their own largest retail chains and both countries have retail companies that do business throughout the world. But North America's biggest contributions to global retailing is mostly outside of the U.S.

Retail business is responsible for two-thirds of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). However, U.S. retailers aren't satisfied with dominance within their own borders and have established a substantial presence on every continent.

Top U. S. Global Retail Ranking Store #1 - Wal-Mart Stores

  • Cash and Carry/Warehouse Club, Discount Department Store, Hypermarket/ Supercenter/ Superstore, Supermarket

Largest U.S. Retail Chains Operating Outside of the U.S. 

  • Wal-Mart. Revenue in 2017 - $362,815,000. Headquartered in Bentonville, AK, the company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. As of January 31, 2017, Walmart had 11,695 stores and clubs in 28 countries, under a total of 63 banners. The largest company by revenue, Wal-mart is also one of the world's most valuable companies by market value and is the also the largest grocery retailer in the U.S. Today, the business is controlled by the Walton family. Sam Walton's heirs own 51 percent of the holding company which employs 2.3 million people worldwide and 1.4 million in the U.S.
  • The Kroeger Co. Revenue in 2017 - $110,215,000. Simply called Kroger, this business is an American retailing company founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, OH.  It is the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. by revenue and the second-largest general retailer (behind Wal-Mart). It is also the second-largest private employer in the U.S. Kroger operates 2,778 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states, with store formats that include supermarkets, superstores, department stores, convenience stores, and jewelry stores. The retail giant employs 443,000 people.
  • Costco. Revenue in 2017 - $85,778,000. Costco is the largest American membership-only warehouse club and is headquartered in Issaquah, WA. It is the world's largest retailer of choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine. Costco's corporate history dates back to 1976, when its former competitor, Price Clue, was founded in San Diego, CA. As of February 2017, Costco had a total of 730 warehouses worldwide with 508 in the U.S. Costco employs 126,000 people.
  • The Home Depot. Revenue in 2017 - $85,086,000. Home Depot is an American home improvement supplies retailing company that sells tools, construction products, and services. Home Depot was co-founded in 1978 by Bernard Marcus, Arthur Blank, Ron Brill, and Pat Farrah. They are headquartered in the Atlanta Store Support Center in unincorporated Cobb County, GA. The company operates many big-box format stores across the U.S. (in all 50 states) and has 70 distribution centers across the U.S. as well. The company employs 385,000 people and boast 2,274 locations worldwide. 
  • CVS Caremark. Revenue in 2017 - $81,482,000. Caremark was founded in 1993 in Birmingham, AL as MedPartners, Inc. After going public in 1995, Medpartners quickly became the largest PPM company through its many acquisitions. In 1996 Caremark International was acquired by MedPartners with Caremark now holding the PPM division and prescription benefit management division. It has since expanded (beyond being your local prescription drug store) to a center for the distribution of drugs conditions including multiple sclerosis. The company (following its 2007 merger with the CVS Corporation) re-branded itself as CVS Health. It employs 13,628 people.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance. Revenue in 2017 - $79,283,000. Headquartered in Deerfield, IL, Walgreens Boots Alliance owns Walgreens, Boots and a number of pharmaceutical manufacturing, wholesale and distribution companies. The company was formed in December 2014 after Walgreens purchased a 55 percent stake in Switzerland-based Alliance Boots. The new company consists of three divisions: Retail Pharmacy (Walgreens), Retail Pharmacy International (Boots), and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. Walgreens had previously operated solely in the U.S. and its territories, but Alliance Boots operates globally and is in 25 countries.  They employ 4000,000 people.
  • Amazon. Amazon is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, WA and was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. The tech giant is the largest Internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization. They started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell DVDs, blue rays, CDs, video downloads, MP3s, apparel, toys, and much more. In 2017, Amazon announced plans to acquire Whole Foods Market, which would vastly increase Amazon's presence as a physical retailer. Amazon employs 341,4000.
  • Target. Revenue in 2017 - $69,495,000.  Target is the second-largest discount store retailer in the U.S. behind Wal-Mart. The company was founded in 1902 by George Dayton in Minneapolis, MN and was originally named Goodfellow Dry Goods. As of 2017, Target operated 1,806 stores throughout the U.S. Target's retail format includes the discount store Target, the hypermarket SuperTarget, and the "flexible format" stores previously named CityTarget and TargetExpress. Target employs 341,000 people.
  • Lowe's Companies. Revenue in 2017 - $60,409,000. Lowe's is an American Company that operates a chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It was founded in 1946in North Wilkesboro, NC. It is the second-largest hardware chain in the U.S. behind The Home Depot and ahead of Menards. Lowe's operates 2,355 locations and employs 265,000 people. 
  • Albertsons Companies. Revenue in 2017 - $58,696,000. Albertsons is an American grocery company founded and based in Boise, Idaho. They are the second-largest supermarket chain in North America after Kroeger.  Privately owned and operated by investors, including Cerberus Capital Managment, Albertsons operates 2,200 stores and employs more 250,000 people.

2016 UPDATE: Largest U.S. Retail Chains >>

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