With $499.65 billion in U.S. retail sales for the year and 7.8% growth, Walmart was No. 1 on NRF's annual list of the top U.S. retailers.
Walmart has come in first on the National Retail Federation’s annual list of the top U.S. retailers based on sales rankings. With data compiled by insights and consulting company Kantar, the list from the Washington, D.C.-based trade organization ranks the industry’s biggest players by domestic retail sales, and also notes Power Players in a range of categories, each with 2022 U.S. sales equal or greater than 10% of the sales of the category leader. This year, retailers delivered greater consistency than expected, according to David Marcotte, SVP for London-based Kantar, who observed that with a few exceptions, “everybody grew, and at more or less the same rate.”
With $499.65 billion in U.S. retail sales for the year and 7.8% growth, Walmart was No. 1 on the list, followed by Amazon, which had sales of $232.46 billion and 6.7% growth. Costco Wholesale and The Kroger Co. helped round out the top five, with Kroger, aided by the impact of the supply chain and other factors in the supermarket sector, was able to move a spot above home improvement store chain The Home Depot.
Big-box and mass merchandisers are continuing to grow, while drug stores are facing labor challenges. Power Players in this channel include Walmart, Amazon.com, Costco and Target (No. 6). Walmart saw a comp-store sales change of 8.2%, while Costco experienced 10%. Meanwhile, retailers such as CVS Health Corp. (No. 7) Walgreens Boots Alliance (No. 8) and Rite Aid (No. 29) have suffered from a pharmacist shortage, and there’s no cash flow for remodels.
ALDI is still gaining market share through an under-the-radar strategy. Ranking at No. 15 on the list, the deep discounter has seen an 8.1% increase in U.S. sales, at $40.21 billion, and has also experienced a 4.3% increase in U.S. stores growth. Marcotte said that he expects the company to expand in the coming year, and perhaps move further up the list, thanks to its strategy of offering prices low enough to inspire low-income shoppers to experiment by purchasing unfamiliar brands. The retailer additionally excels at providing products that consumers can’t find anywhere else.
International investment in the United States is increasingly visible, thanks to the country’s still-intact reputation as safe, stable and growing. Mexico has shown particular interest, as evidenced by Grupo Comercial Chedraui’s acquisition of Smart & Final Holdings Inc., which landed the company at No. 57, with 137.3% U.S. sales growth and 205.7% growth in U.S. stores. In 2022, 59% of Chedraui’s worldwide sales came from the United States. Further, Cencosud bought into The Fresh Market. Marcotte also noted that 7-Eleven, at No. 19, and Circle K, owned by Alimentation Couche-Tard, at No. 42, “have longstanding international investment in the U.S. That’s not new. What is new is that both are aggressively trying to expand their U.S. footprint.”
Marcotte further observed that The Defense Commissary Agency, at No. 95, fell from No. 88, due to fewer military families and veterans, and that organized retail crime (ORC) is having an impact on sales, although it’s difficult to say how much, due to the growing complexity of the issue. While retailers have increasingly linked ORC to weak sales, broader effects include damage to stores, employee turnover, shopper fear, and even intimidation and violence. He also pointed to the re-emergence of better-organized swarming attacks and the closure of stores in markets that retailers no longer feel are safe. According to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey, 89.3% of retail organizations reported increased violence within stores.
Other food retailers to make the Top 100 Retailers 2023 list included Albertsons Cos. (No. 10), Ahold Delhaize USA (No. 12), Publix Super Markets (No. 13), Dollar General (No. 17), H-E-B (No. 18), Dollar Tree (No. 20), Meijer (No. 25), BJ’s Wholesale Club (No. 26), Wakefern Food Corp. (No. 28), Hy-Vee (No. 37), Wegmans Food Market (No. 41), Giant Eagle (No. 44), WinCo Foods (No. 48), Northeast Grocery (No. 57), Southeastern Grocers (No. 63), Sprouts Farmers Market (No. 69), Raley’s Supermarket (No. 77), Piggly Wiggly (No. 79), Demoulas/Market Basket (No. 83), Stater Bros. Holdings (No. 86), Weis Markets (No. 89), Ingles (No. 92), Save-A-Lot (No. 94) and Schnucks (No. 99).