With total retail sales worldwide expected to grow over the next few years, launching a retail business, whether as a side hustle or a full-time job, can be lucrative. But before you start your own business, it’s important to have an overview of the top retail companies in the world to understand how they’re performing and what they’re doing right.

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Top retailers ranked by revenue

The latest data shows US-based Walmart sitting comfortably in first place on the list of the top retail companies worldwide. The biggest retailer in the world generated over $585 billion in sales in 2022, an 8.7% annual increase from 2021.

As the biggest retailer in the world, it’s a given that Walmart’s also the top US retailer. In fact, a good majority of Walmart’s sales come from its home market.

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Walmart’s lead over the second-biggest retailer in the world, Amazon, is an impressive one. Revenues of $232.5 billion separate Walmart from Amazon, whose annual revenues in 2022 totaled $352.7 billion. The Jeff Bezos company charted a slower growth rate than Walmart. Amazon’s sales increased by 6.8% from 2021 to 2022.

Third on the list of the largest retailers worldwide is yet another US company: Costco. In 2022, Costco generated $219.2 billion in sales. Together, these three largest retailers brought in over $1.1 trillion in global sales. 

Next on the list is German retailer Schwarz Group, which owns grocery stores Lidl and Kaufland, among other ventures. Schwarz Group’s 2022 international retail revenues topped $159 billion. It is also the only non-US company in the top five. 

Rounding out the five biggest retailers in the world is Georgia-headquartered The Home Depot, with $157.3 billion in retail sales. Here are the sixth- to 10th-largest retailers and their annual revenues:

  1. Aldi: $130.4 billion
  2. Walgreens Boots Alliance: $124.3 billion
  3. Carrefour: $108.4 billion
  4. Alibaba: $96 billion
  5. Seven & I: $94.6 billion

Of the top retail companies worldwide, half are from the US. Three, mainly Schwarz Group, Aldi, and Carrefour, are from Europe, and two, Alibaba and Seven & I, are from Asia. In total, these 10 largest retailers generated over $2 trillion in retail sales in 2022.

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