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Wal-Mart Tops Planet Retail's Global Grocers List

LONDON -- Wal-Mart has once again nabbed the top position in the annual list of the top 30 grocers worldwide, published by Planet Retail ( here.

According to the international research group, Wal-Mart has expanded its global reach to nearly 6,000 stores across 13 countries, and achieved $309 billion in sales last year. The retailer beefed up its supermarket portfolio by acquiring Bompreco hypermarkets in Brazil, which were formerly operated by Ahold.

France-based retailer Carrefour retained its No. 2 position on the list, with a marginal 3 percent sales increase to $113 billion. Ahold and Metro followed at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

The biggest shakeup in the list was at No. 5, where London-based Tesco toppled Kroger Co. Tesco's sales grew 10 percent vs. 2003, to $68 billion. "Tesco's success can be attributed to a wide range of factors, including a dynamic and flexible range of formats ranging from hypermarkets to convenience stores in developed and developing markets, sharp pricing, a strong own-label offer, and an extensive nonfoods range," noted Planet Retail in its report. Additionally, Tesco has shown it can ably compete with Wal-Mart, both in the food and nonfoods sectors.

Planet Retail's "2005 Watch List" of retailers to keep an eye on in includes Japan's AEON, Albertsons and CVS from the United States, Coles Meyer and Woolworths from Australia, and Canada's Loblaw.
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