Internationalization: Aldi and Lidl in worldwide Top 10 retailers

Aldi´s USA store face. Photo: Aldi-Süd.

As reported by Lebensmittelzeitung´s analysts and quoted in one of my previous blogposts, Aldi overtook Carrefour in 2018 and became Europe´s second largest retailer (see here). So far figures for retailer rankings on worldwide level were difficult to get. Now Statista / Deloitte published some results showing that Aldi joined Lidl as one of two German retailers among the worldwide Top 10 in terms of turnover.

With its worldwide activities and a consistent growth-strategy Aldi managed to finish 2017 with an estimated turnover of almost 100 billion US, according to Statista / Deloitte, which would catapult them onto rank 8 in the worldwide ranking.

As Statista reports:
„Around 4.5 trillion US dollars – that’s the total sales of the 250 most successful retailers worldwide in 2017. Two German retailers are also represented in the Top 10 ranking of financial auditor Deloitte. The Schwarz Group, which includes Lidl and Kaufland, generated approximately 111.8 billion USD in fiscal 2017. It ranks fifth, directly behind Amazon (118.6 billion USD). Aldi made it to number 8 in the ranking with sales estimated at 98.3 billion USD. The most successful in terms of sales, is the American company Wal-Mart (approximately 500 billion USD annual sales), as the Statista chart shows. Growth champion Amazon is expected to continue to improve its position this year, according to Deloitte.“

According to Statista / Deloitte and based on retail revenue, there are no Chinese retailers in this ranking.

Top 10 of world´s 250 largest retailers in billion USD, based on retail revenue. Infographic: Statista / Deloitte.

Already at the beginning of this year, Lebensmittelzeitung reported:
„Food Discount ‚Made in Germany‘ is conquering the world. Was it France’s hypermarket operators and Metro C + C who from 1969 to 2000 made the race in internationalization of trade, it is the two German discounters Lidl and Aldi today. The journal “Linéaires” has calculated that the leading French full-assortment retailers, especially Carrefour, have left a total of 30 countries since 2003. All had to realize that the model hypermarket is no longer the key to success in the conquest of foreign markets. Also, the British industry leader Tesco has said goodbye to Taiwan and South Korea since 2003, and had a billion-flop in the US. It is quite possible that the British will soon be withdrawing from Central Eastern Europe. And even the world’s largest dealer Walmart, which is present in 28 countries today, had to leave South Korea and in 2007 also Germany. Quite different the German discounters. Aldi Nord, now active in eight foreign markets, entered Portugal in 2006 and Poland in 2008. Aldi Süd has been present in Switzerland and Slovenia since 2005 and in Hungary since 2008 and has opened 50 stores in Italy since February. Lidl is even on the move in 26 foreign markets. In June 2017 they made the giant leap to America. There, the Schwarz Group subsidiary operates 90 stores on the US East Coast. It was only in November that it reaffirmed its intention to expand by acquiring the regional chain Best Market. The sales momentum of the discounters is well above the international average of full-assortment retailers.“

Of course, the leaps in growth of Amazon, whose online food sales in the US are expected to have increased by about 40 percent in 2018, are even more dramatic. But for food, Amazon can only dream of a post-tax return of up to 3 percent like the top discounters. According to analysts, it costs the online giant – despite its algorithms – 2 US dollars to supply a customer at home with dishwashing detergent. In contrast, Walmart only needs to spend 13 cents to bring the same product to a store close to their customer for pick-up.


Sources:
Statista / Deloitte, „Beim Einzelhandel spielt Deutschland in der Weltliga“, January 22nd 2019
Lebensmittelzeitung, „Discounter schlagen alle“, January 4th 2019