2012 World's Largest U.S. Retail Companies - Biggest American Retail Chains

U.S. Retailers on Global Powers of Retailing Biggest Retailing Companies List

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More than 30% of the 250 largest retail companies in the world are based in the United States, according to the 2012 Global Powers of Retailing report, which is published each year by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and STORES Magazine. Not only is the retail industry the dominant industry in the U.S., retail chains in the U.S. are aggressively working to expand their retail operations overseas and are increasingly becoming more dominant on the global retailing stage.


The U.S. companies ranked on this world’s largest list vary somewhat from the annual Fortune 500 list, which is generally focused on publicly traded U.S. retail companies. Included in this global ranking are privately-held companies, as well as government retail operations. Also, the 2012 Global Powers of Retailing report is based on 2010 revenue figures, so it lags behind the 2012 Retail Fortune 500 rankings. What the annual Global Powers reports do provide, however, is a global ranking number which provides comparative perspective on retailing's trend towards globally.

While the global ranking of the largest U.S. retail chains remains relatively unchanged from year to year, there were some significant changes in the global power of many U.S. based retail chains.
The U.S. retail chains which saw the most positive changes between the 2011 and 2012 Global Powers reports are:
  • Apple jumped up 38 positions, breaking into the top 100 and making the most positive gain of any company with significant retail operations.
  • Walgreens moved ahead of the Target Corporation to become the 9th largest retail chain in the world, and knocking Target out of the Top 10.
  • Amazon.com jumped up seven positions, to outrank Supervalu, RiteAid, and Publix.
  • Kohl's overcame jcpenney, which is significant since the two chains are considered to be in direct competition for the same customer base.
  • Dollar General moved up 6 ranking positions after generating more revenue than Dell Computer
  • The Limited jumped up 6 spots and broke into the Top 100.
  • Nordstrom jumped up 7 positions, just barely missing the top 100.
  • Casey's General Stores rose 15 positions above Wegmans and Save Mart.
  • WinCo Foods rose 17 positions, ahead of Save Mart.
None of the most dramatic negative changes that were seen on the 2012 Global Powers list are surprising to anyone who follows the U.S. retail industry. These struggling retail chains are trying to remain relevant and appealing to U.S. customers and have little or no global expansion to boost them up. The exception to that is Abercrombie and Fitch, which is opening international retail locations almost as fast as it is closing unprofitable U.S. locations. In the 2012 global rankings, this new Abercrombie & Fitch global expansion strategy caused it to lose ground on the global retailing stage.

The most significant negative changes between the 2011 and 2012 Global Powers reports are:
  • QuikTrip fell a stunning 52 positions, behind direct competitors RaceTrac and Casey's. RaceTrac itself fell 55 positions in the global rankings.
  • Hudson's Bay Trading Company dropped 23 spots.
  • Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea - fell 18 spaces out of the Top 100.
  • Winn-Dixie fell 12 positions behind Hy-Vee and The Pantry convenience stores.
  • Price Chopper fell 17 positions behind Roundy's and Stater Bros.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch fell 12 positions, and is the lowest U.S. retailer on the 2012 list.
There are also six U.S. retail chains which fell off the Global Powers list altogether. Bon-Ton, Raley's, Ingles, and Demoulas did not generate enough revenue in 2010 to retain their World's Largest status. Signet Jewelers is still on the Global Powers list, but is now a Bermuda-based company. And, of course, Blockbuster disappeared as a Global Power of Retailing, as it began dramatic downsizing in an effort to not disappear from U.S. retailing altogether.

What follows is a complete list of the U.S. retail chains that were included on the 2012 Global Powers of Retailing list. The number in the left column is the global ranking number assigned to the company, based on its sales figures, compared to other top retail organizations worldwide.

>> 2012 Largest U.S. Retail Chains List >> This World's Largest U.S. Based Retail Companies list is arranged according to the ranking the company received on the 2012 Global Powers of Retailing report. The number in the left column is the global ranking number assigned to the company, based on its revenue figures, compared to other top retail chains and companies worldwide.

Retail Companies Based in the U.S. Ranked Among the 250 Largest Retailers In the World on the 2012 Global Powers of Retailing List:

1      Wal-Mart 5      The Kroger Company7      Costco8      Home Depot9    Walgreens11    Target13    CVS Caremark19    Best Buy 20    Lowe's22    Sears Holdings 24    Safeway28    Amazon.com31    SuperValu33    Rite Aid35    Publix36    Macy's38    TJX44    Kohl's 46    JC Penney51    H.E. Butt Grocery Company55    Meijer60    Staples61    The Gap65    Toys 'R Us68    Dollar General73    Dell87    BJ's Wholesale Club95  Apple96  Limited Brands97  GameStopMore U.S. Retail chains on the 2012 World's Largest Retailers List >>

See also... What is the Largest Single Retail Store in the World? >>

More World's Largest Retailers:World's Largest Retailers - Arranged by Store Type:

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Retail Companies Based in the U.S. Ranked Among the 250 Largest Retailers In the World 2012 (continued):

101  Nordstrom

104  Whole Foods Market

    105  Giant Eagle

    107  Bed Bath and Beyond

    111    Office Depot

    112  Menards

    113  Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)

    115    The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company

    121  Family Dollar

    122  Ross Stores

      123  Liberty Media (QVC)

      132  The Pantry

      135  Barnes & Noble

      137  Hy-Vee

      138  Winn-Dixie Stores

      143  AutoZone

      148  Dillard's

      149  Dollar Tree

      151 Defense Commissary Agency (DECA)

      152  PetSmart

      153  Casey's General Stores

      154  Wegmans Food Markets

      157  O'Reilly Automotive

      163  Foot Locker

      164  QuikTrip

      165  WinCo Foods

      166  Save Mart Supermarkets

      168  Big Lots

      172  Dick's Sporting Goods

      182  OfficeMax

      184  Wawa

      191  Sheetz

      192  RadioShack

      193  Sherwin-Williams

      More 2012 Largest U.S. Retail Companies >>

      See also... What is the Largest Single Retail Store in the World? >>

      More World's Largest Retailers:

      World's Largest Retailers - Arranged by Store Type:

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      Retail Companies Based in the U.S. Ranked Among the 250 Largest Retailers In the World 2012 (continued):

      206  RaceTrac Petroleum207  Ruddick Corp. / Harris Teeter 208  Advance Auto Parts209  Michaels Stores210  Albertson's219  Neiman Marcus221  Burlington Coat Factory226 Tractor Supply Company227 Coach 229  Roundy's Supermarkets230  Stater Brothers Holdings
        236 Belk, Inc237  Williams-Sonoma239  The Golub Corp. Price Chopper Supermarkets241  Abercrombie & FitchSee also... What is the Largest Single Retail Store in the World? >>

        More World's Largest Retailers:World's Largest Retailers - Arranged by Store Type:

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