• Jini Kong

Walmart leads NRF's top 100 retailers

Dive Brief:
  • Walmart tops the National Retail Federation's measure of the top 100 retailers, in a list that the organization itself said reflects "stability."

  • While Amazon comes in at number two, its $120.9 billion in retail sales last year pale in comparison to Walmart's $387.6 billion, according to the list published in the organization's "Stores" magazine.

  • Rounding out the top 10 are, in order, Kroger, Costco, Walgreens, The Home Depot, CVS, Target, Lowe's and Albertson's.

Dive Insight:

In raw retail sales numbers, not much has changed this year from last. As Stores magazine notes, the retailers in the top 10 are the same ones as last year, with some movement up or down the list.

As Amazon celebrates its 25th anniversary and announces its fifth-ever Prime Day, the NRF's accounting serves as a reminder that in a quarter century of disruption, the e-commerce giant has failed to catch up to the world's largest retailer. Still, the NRF's story suggests that, along with Walmart's dominance, Amazon's disruption is hardly over.

"No. 2 Amazon.com's retail business is nowhere near as large as No. 1 Walmart's, but Amazon is easily the most disruptive and influential force in the retail industry," the story reads. "The company sells merchandise from all manner of vendors and suppliers, via both online commerce and through a variety of physical stores. Amazon also provides a digital marketplace for unaffiliated retailers to sell their wares."

But Walmart is proving to be a worthy rival to Amazon in e-commerce as well, according to Profitero Senior Vice President of Strategy and Insights Keith Anderson. "Walmart really has emerged as a credible alternative choice to Amazon," he told Retail Dive in an interview.

Not all analysts believe that will serve Walmart's interests, however. Some maintain that, while the brick-and-mortar giant has pivoted to invest in e-commerce startups and grow its digital sales, Amazon isn't necessarily its biggest problem.

"There are a whopping 30,000 dollar stores in America now, and the category is growing at a rate of 8 - 10% annually," Nick Egelanian, president of retail development consultants Siteworks, told Retail Dive in an email. "Add to that growing market share for Aldi (and Lidl), and you can see a real competitive threat growing for Walmart while it has its eye off the ball."

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