Advertise Here  




Leading Retailers

The following is a list of selected leading food retailing companies from around the globe that is by no means comprehensive nor meant to indicate any form of accurate ranking of the industry. It is a compilation from a variety of information accumulated through published rankings, annual reports / corporate information and so on. Due to the varying currencies and fiscal year ends and the conversion to Canadian Dollars, the sales figures shown are a " best estimate " to illustrate the overall size of operations. Figures shown are from year ends using the most recent available data.In most cases the figures represent total company sales (including non-retail operations etc.).

To get their most recent annual report just click on the company logo. Please note, in an effort to conserve disc space on the servers I use, the links provided are all to external sources. Most files are in Adobe PDF form, some are just links to the appropriate page of company websites or to the online viewable format for the report.

Please feel free to contact me if you need further assistance obtaining a report or to report a dead link here, just e-mail me at or contact me via my Facebook page at or by my Facebook e-mail at

Company Name & Annual Report Link
Country of Origin
Website Link

Sales (Billions $CDN)


Nevermind the $$. They employ over 2 Million people around the world in all shapes, sizes, ages, colours, religions and languages. The United Nations of retailing ? North American sales account for over $310 Billion.


Not one to be out done by Wal-mart or Tesco, they are often the first to enter new markets and if they proove unsuccessful they pull out. Recent ventures have them into Middle Eastern countries including Irag, Iran, Syria and more.


Still one of the most admired and respected retailers in the world, they stand for quality in retailing. Not just products but in operations and innovations.


In the industry we often hear the names of the top 3 as well as Ahold, Aldi, Delhaize, Lidl and Costco but not to often do you hear about Metro Group. They are possibly the biggest company no one has ever heard of....and still growing.


When I first started this site in 2004 their mantra was "Act Global, Think Local" and look where it got them. They set their sights on becoming one of the top 10 global retailers and have well surpassed that goal.


They have wide and varied holdings beyond supermarkets including the Dennys restaurant chain and unbeknownst to many, the 7-11 convenience store chain in the U.S


No international operations to my knowledge. Most noteable of their achievements is their charitable donations. In 2009 alone they donated 10.9% of their pre-tax profits. That's $64 Million U.S.

No Report Available


In terms of growth from entering new markets they have come along in leaps and bounds in the past decade. Now present in close to 30 countries they show no signs of slowing down. Norway is the only country they weren't successful and chose to exit by selling off their stores.


Considering their customers pay them to shop at their stores and given that they have under 600 locations total, their results truly are impressive. What they do is somewhat unique and clearly they do it very well.


Not afraid to move on from unsuccesful ventures, they have entered and exited countries before getting in too far over their heads. In the U.S. for example they left when the handful of stores they had showed big losses. On the other hand in countries like Russia they are thriving with just under 100 stores.


Their corporate film available at the link HERE is something I was truly impressed with. Not only does it provide a great overview of their business, the focus of it is not on their results, it focuses on their employees which are the heart and soul of all retail businesses.


They too have a very good corporate film giving an overview of their business as well as an interesting and informative collection of videos on their library page at the link available HERE

No Report Available


With over 9,000 stores mainly in Europe the one operation that falls out of their limited assortment / discount store operations is the Trader Joe's chain in the U.S. that they have owned since 1979. For Canadians, Trader Joe's is the original source of the "Insider's Report" that Loblaws uses to market their private label brands. They bought the rights to it from them years ago and Joe's now calls theirs the Fearless Flyer.


So far their only operations outside of the U.S. will be here in Canada where everyone is waiting to see what they will do and how they will do it in 2013. It's interesting that a number of the Zellers stores they opted not to take over the leases of are going to be taken over by Wal-Mart here. Often acquisition deals close the door on close competitors but this one didn't.


Once among the top five global retailers, they have recovered from a number of scandals and unsuccessful ventures too numerous to list. Via divestures they have kept afloat and are well into recovery. You can view their corporate video HERE

Annual Report is in German only


The largest food retailer in Germany with over 25% market share. They are a retailer co-operative with more than 4,500 stores in Germany, Poland and Denmark.


An impressive business I have followed from afar for a number of years. They continue to grow; outside of Australia and New Zealand they have developed a partnership in electronics stores with Tata Group in India. Are food stores there a plan for the future ? We'll have to wait and see.


Once international in a big way, they now just have stores in North America. Here in Canada they haven't ventured east of Manitoba. They have no stores from Ontario to Atlantic Canada and no plans to go expand this way.

No Report Available


Basically a co-operative/franchise group they now have operations outside of France in Poland, Italy, Spain and other European markets where they continue to expand operations.

No Report Available


Les Mousqutaires also known as ITM Enterprises operate Intermarche, Netto stores along with a variety of other non-food retailing stores in France, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Romania and more.


Based in the Netherlands the SPAR name is carried on over 12,000 stores in more than 25 countries. They operate as a partnership with retailers as opposed to direct ownership. Clearly very successful albeit complex in their structure.


Developments in 2011 will have them closing over 100 stores in the U.S. as well as the elimination of their Bloom stores banner through closures and rebrandings back to Food Lion.


They are the little company that could. When they took over the larger Albertson's businesses in 2006 many thought they were doomed to fail. That certainly hasn't been the case. A great overview of their operations is also available in their 2011 Fact Book available HERE


Growth through acquisitions has worked well for them. In 2007 they acquired the Coles Myer group which many thought were immune to a buyout as they had been growing well on their own as a staple in Australian retail with Coles, Kmart, Target and others among their holdings then. They all belong to Wesfarmers now ( by license that is for Kmart and Target who are still U.S. owned entities overall)


My employer from 1988-2007 when my position was restructured out of existence. I owe most of my knowledge and passion for food retail to having worked with them. To date the only bad thing I can say about them is that they have lost sight of the most important thing to become even more successful. Their people, at least the ones I see and know just don't have the passion anymore.


Although there have been several takeover attempts over the years, they have still managed to hold their own with 900+ stores in the U.K. in the supermarket and convenience stores sectors.


A regional chain located in the south, they have over 1,000 stores and have received a number of awards and accolades. Many of their stores are considered "High End" in location, design and offerings.


Figures shown are for their U.S. operations only. Annual Report link and website link are to the parent company already included above.


Figures shown are for their U.S. operations only. Annual Report link and website link are to the parent company already included above.

No Report Available


Even though their website has no mention of their subsidiaries, among their holdings are the Bruno's chain through their Southern Family Markets subsidiary.

No Report Available


A union of Co-operatives they do have an interesting report called Consumption and Distribution available HERE that is unfortunately in Italian only but using google translate for the text you can make sense of the majority of it.

No Report Available


A regional chain based in Texas their stores are in that state as well as the country of Mexico under the HEB name and Central Market banners.


Owned by Empire Company Limited and based in Nova Scotia they have more than 1,300 stores across Canada. In 2012 they will be getting a new CEO as their current one Bill McEwan will be retiring due to health reasons.

No Report Available


One of the first companies to pioneer one-stop superstores they have always been known as an innovator. They have an excellent corporate video of their businesses available HERE

No Report Available


Figures shown are for their operations in Italy only. For more information see Auchan of France above or visit the Auchan Italy website by clicking the button to the left.


The largest retailer in Russia by sales, Alpha Group also of Russia have a 48% share of the company. Their growth through acquisitions has their store count just below 2,500 and growing. An interesting company to watch to say the least.


9,800 stores in 38 states. It's interesting to see the map of their locations HERE where you can see the store count by state. The thing that stands out most is their lack of presence on the West Coast and Pacific NorthWest. I haven't heard or seen anything to indicate plans to enter those regions.

No Report Available


A retailer co-operative of 220+ stores, more than a quater of them are coporately owned operating under the Shoprite and PriceRite banners.


Ahold of the Netherlands has owned 49% of the company since 1992 and although they have tried to sell their interest for some time, they continue to be the lead retailer in Potugal with the Pingo Doce chain among the holdings there.


They have stores in Quebec and Ontario only with no plans to expand beyond. In 2005 they purchased A&P of Canada from the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in the U.S. To this day Christian Haub of the U.S. A&P remains on the Metro Board of Directors.


The annual report link is to their 10-k filing for 2011 and may be the last public one available where they are now privately owned by Beacon Holding Limited as of September 2011.


The annual report link provided is more of a facts brochure than a traditonal annual report that is available as part of their press kit. Another very successful co-operative who also has partnerships with E.LeClerc and others.

No Report Available


Results shown are for Italian operations only. For more information visit the Carrefour Group of France above.


When they first started out they weren't taken seriously as a true retail competitor but through acquisitons and smart operations they have proven themselves to be a strong adversary to many larger chains. They have also gained a lot of respect and attention for the quality of both products and stores.


A very ambitious company planning rapid growth. In 2012 Magnit plan to open over 800 convenience stores and add another 50-55 hypermarkets to their portfolio. For that reason by store count they are Russia's largest retailer.

No Report Available


Privately owned, the majority of their 229 stores are in Pennsylvannia and Ohio. For years they have represented quality in retailing with too many awards and achievements to list.

No Report Available


Owned by Aldi of Germany for decades, they operate 365 stores located mainly in the state of California. Their store interiors are known for being very unique to reflect the notion of old fashioned trading posts but with modern store fixtures.


After years of difficult times mainly in part to their A&P business in the U.S. their ownership being down to 38.5% have afforded them enough protection to get back on track. Interstingly their German website has never had much mention of their U.S. holdings.

No Report Available


Entirely family owned with no outside investors they were the first real supermarket chain in Italy. Today they have 140 stores in that country.


At one time they had over 16,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada but that was the 1930's. Today they have less than 350. Their 2007 acquisition of Pathmark was thought to be a turnaround point in their struggles but their tough times don't appear to be over yet as they continue to close stores.


Comparable to Dollar General they have 6,800 stores in 44 states. The troubled U.S. economy has helped drive their success where discount stores are thriving. They show no signs of slowing down their growth.


One of the key points mentioned in their report is their employees with over 15 million training hours for their 43,600+ employees along with $54 Million CDN paid out in performance based compensation. Clearly they understand investing in their business also means investing in their people.

No Report Available


Primarily a wholesaler serving more than 1,900 they are a retailer co-operative much like Wakefern above. They do own and operate the Homeland chain of stores based in Oklahoma.

No Report Available


Figures shown are for their operations in Russia only. For more information see Auchan of France above or visit the Auchan Russia website by clicking the button to the left.

No Report Available


A Midwestern icon in business since the 1930's , they have 232 stores in eight states in that region of the U.S. Much of their success can be attributed to being a private company that is employee owned.

No Report Available


Figures shown are for their operations in Poland only. For more information see Jeronimo Martins of Portugal above or visit their Polish operations of the Biedronka chain at the link to the left.


Yet another U.S. retailer who has gone into bankruptcy protection at one point. Heading into 2012 they will be merging with Bi-Lo, the chain once owned by Ahold also coming out of bankruptcy. Bi-Lo is credited as being the buyer of Winn-Dixie for $530 Million USD

No Report Available


Privately owned by the Wegman family, they have 75 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Their stores and their company have won many awards and are a highly respected and admired food retailer.


Primarily a wholsealer they do operate several of their own supermarket chains. One of their key operations is being a major distibutor to the U.S. military. The link for that division is HERE

No Report Available


Operating exclusively in the states of California and Nevada they are a well known name in food retail. A lot of name recognition has come from their sponsorship of NASCAR auto racing events at the Infineon Raceway that has millions of viewers from around the world.


Coming in on the heels of the success of Whole Foods, United Natural Foods as a distibutor and retailer of natural and organic foods continue to grow to meet consumer demand. Outside of the U.S. they have one retail store in Vancouver and five distribution centres in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

No Report Available


Located primarily in Central and Northern Italy they operate four different retail banners. In addition to their hypermarkets and supermarkets they also own the Brek restaurant chain.


Owned by the Ruddick Corporation They are headquartered in North Carolina and have over 200 stores in eight states. At one time it was rumored that they worked with Loblaws in development and testing of private label products but I wasn't able to get a positive confirmation nor denial of it from either Loblaw or Harris Teeter when I investigated it years ago.


Formerly known as Unified Western Grocers, they are also a retailer co-operative wholesaler serving much of the Coast and Pacific Midwest after growiing through acquisitions/mergers with similar wholesaler groups. To my knowledge they do not have any full fledged retail store chain investments or operations.

No Report Available


Ten years after becoming privately owned by Willis Stein & Partners private equity firm they announced plans in late 2011 to make the company a publicly traded business once again in 2012.


Another California based chain, they have 167 stores in that state and have been in business since 1936. Their name comes from the fact that twin brothers Cleo and Leo Stater were the owners of their first store.

No Report Available


Also known as the Golub Corporation and run by two members of the Golub family , they have 125 stores in six Northeast Atlantic states including their home state of New York.


86% owned by the Ingles family who also run the business, they have over 200 stores in six states in the SouthEast with most stores in their home state of North Carolina.

No Report Available


Owners of the Fiesta Mart chain this Texas based wholesaler also supplies over 30 other food retail companies in that region.

No Report Available


Founded in 1993 they now have over 850 stores with 12 being in the country of Slovenia and the remainder being in Italy.

No Report Available


Privately owned by the Demoula family since 1916, they have 64 stores in the Northeastern states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They have only had their website in operation since 2010.

No Report Available


Owned by the Jim Pattison Group the Overwaitea chain itself operates in British Columbia only but their other chains operate in the neighbouring provinces also.


Established in 2001 they currently have 72 stores in Russia and like many other retailers in that country plan even more agressive expansion in years to come. Great website with English content.

No Report Available


Operating more than 130 stores under three different banners, they haven't expanded beyond California and Nevada. Privately owned by Joyce Raley Teel who also sits on their board of directors as co-chairman.


By store count they are among the largest retailers in Poland with just under 5,000 stores owned or franchised by them in cash & carry and supermarkets. For their ABC chain alone there are over 4,000 stores.

No Report Available


Owners of Lowes Foods who in turn own several other chains, they currently have over 100 stores and continue to acquire more and open new locations of their own.

No Report Available


Currently they operate over 30 different companies and among them are eight different food retail banners. For a good overview of some of their businesses you can see their corporate video by visiting their page HERE


65% owned by the Weis family who also have the key positions in running the company, they have 164 stores in five states including their home state of Pennsylvanna.

No Report Available


The Lenta company has 42 stores in Russia and employ over 14,000. They have some great comparison statistics of the Russian market available on their website at the link HERE

No Report Available


Though based in Hungary, since their inception in 2001 they have focused on international expansion. Currently they have just under 4,000 stores in seven countries.


Their own 97 stores are all in the state of Michigan but as a wholesaler they supply stores in the states of Ohio and Indiana also.


Once owned by Ahold of the Netherlands they have quite a history in the past 20 years with store closures, acquisitions and more. In 2007 they were bought by Morgan Stanley Private Equity for $310 Million USD

No Report Available


Based in St. Louis part of their growth came in 1995 when they bought the National Supermarkets chain from Loblaw of Canada. Today the family owned business has more than 100 stores in five Midwestern states.


Owned by the Megapolis Group the Dixy chain has roughly 1,000 stores in three different formats with the "Neighborhood Stores" being 733 of them.

No Report Available


At one time they were owned by Casino of France but were sold off to Apollo Global Management in 2007. Since then they have tested new format stores in new markets and as was the case in Denver they moved out as fast as they moved in where they opened and then closed five stores in the span five months.

No Report Available


To my knowledge this food wholesalers does not have retail operations of their own but their business serves over 2,500 stores in seven states.

No Report Available


A successful co-operative type franchise system in Poland they have over 2,700 stores throughout the country. Unfortunately their website does not have English content but google translate works well on it.

No Report Available


Another chain once owned by Ahold of the Netherlands who faced a lot of difficulties, as mentioned earlier they are in a merger/buyout of Winn-Dixie into 2012 that should help speed their recovery.

No Report Available


Operating in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas they have more than 150 stores under four different and distinct banners.


As part of their structure they have three operating companies which in turn run their three supermarket brand names. The most well known of which I believe is the Strokrotka chain.




(c) 2004-2012 Food Retail World ~ All Rights Reserved

This template was provided free by