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15 Most Valuable Retail Companies In The World

In this article, we discuss 15 most valuable retail companies in the world. If you want to see more companies in this selection, check out 5 Most Valuable Retail Companies In The World

Retailers are facing challenges due to the rapid changes happening in the industry. Only a small portion of executives are confident about increasing profits in the upcoming year. Most expect inflation to affect their margins and anticipate a decrease in consumer spending due to financial worries. Despite the challenges, retailers have developed resilience in recent years. The pandemic caused significant changes in consumer demand, which led retailers to modernize their systems to better adapt to these changes. This includes improved analytics and strategies to maintain customer loyalty in response to changing consumer preferences.

The Retail Industry: An Analysis

According to Deloitte, retail sales growth is expected to be limited by a slowing economy. In a baseline scenario with a 55% chance of happening, GDP growth is predicted to decrease from 2% in 2022 to 0.9% in 2023. Although a strong labor market will continue to drive sales, there is a risk of a recession which could lead to economic contraction and higher unemployment.

Physical retail stores and online platforms are becoming important sources of advertising for vendors. Retailers are earning more revenue by selling marketing space to vendors, which strengthens their partnerships. The sale of advertising space on websites, in-store displays, mobile apps, and streaming services is expected to increase among retailers, with the greatest growth coming from streaming TV.

The top retailers in the US are at the forefront of maximizing retail media networks. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) was quick to use its acquisition of Thursday Night Football streaming to sell advertising space to vendors and enhance its marketing. The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR)’s partnership with Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROKU) to sell commercials on the ad-supported CTV will become even stronger if its potential merger with Albertsons goes ahead. Similarly, Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has a long history of working with vendors on retail media networks and has created its own network called Walmart Connect, which generated over $2 billion in revenue in 2021. The growth of advertising revenue, excluding website placements, is expected to increase 38% in 2023, reaching $6.5 billion. The growth of social commerce offers a new opportunity for retailers and brands. 

In addition to exploring the most valuable retail companies in the world, investors can also check out 15 Internet Retail Stocks To Buy, 10 Best Retail Stocks To Buy Now, and Largest Retailers in the US

Our Methodology 

We used stock screeners to identify the most valuable retail companies in the world based on market capitalization as of January 31, 2023. The market cap for the shortlisted firms exceeded $45 billion. These firms include general merchandise retailers, auto retailers, discount retailers, home improvement retailers, fashion retailers, pharmacy retailers, and online/internet retailers. The list is ranked in ascending order of market caps.

15 Most Valuable Retail Companies In The World
15 Most Valuable Retail Companies In The World

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

Most Valuable Retail Companies In The World

15. AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $45.269 Billion

AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was founded in 1979 and is based in Memphis, Tennessee. The company retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company provides different products for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks, such as new and refurbished automotive hard parts, maintenance accessories, and non-automotive products.  At the end of August 2022, AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO)’s annual revenue came in at $16.25 billion, up from $14.6 billion in the same period last year. 

Like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) is one of the most valuable retail companies in the world.

Here is what Carillon Tower Advisers specifically said about AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) in its Q2 2022 investor letter:

“AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) sells automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company reported another solid quarterly update that highlighted particularly robust growth in its commercial segment, market share gains, and stable gross margins. Additionally, investors have appreciated the company’s historically stable business model that is positioned to perform well in periods of economic stress.”

14. O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $49.236 Billion

O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY) was founded in 1957 and is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. The company and its subsidiaries run a retail and supply business of automotive parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories. O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY)’s market cap on January 31 exceeded $49 billion, making it one of the most valuable retail companies. 

Aristotle Atlantic made the following comment about O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

“O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY) outperformed the Consumer Discretionary sector because its business is expected to be more resilient in an economic downturn. The company’s second quarter earnings were slightly below consensus estimates; however, the outlook for the rest of the year showed steady growth despite difficult comparisons with the second half of 2021. O’Reilly Automotive continues to grow its store base and has recently announced an expansion into Mexico. The company operates in an industry where competition has historically remained rational through the economic cycle.”

13. Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $51.577 Billion

Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) is a discount retailer that provides merchandise, consumable, and household products in the United States. Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) has more than 18,000 stores in 47 states. As of January 2022, the company’s annual revenue came in at $34.2 billion, compared to $33.7 billion in January 2021. Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) announced on January 19, 2023 a partnership with Ibotta, which will extend Dollar General's financial services and offer cash back options to all consumers.

Here is what Aristotle Capital specifically said about Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) in its Q2 2022 investor letter:

“Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) contributed to performance in the second quarter following the report of first quarter earnings that were above expectations. Strength in the second quarter was driven by better-than-expected sales of consumable items. Guidance for the remainder of the year was increased. In addition to solid earnings, forecasts for the increasing expectations of a recession drove positive sentiment towards consumer discretionary companies with more predictable revenue like dollar stores.”

12. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $78.566 Billion

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is a general merchandise retailer in the United States, offering food assortments, grocery, apparel, accessories, home decor products, electronics, toys, seasonal offerings, beauty products, and household essentials. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT)’s annual revenue as of January 2022 came in at $106.4 billion, up from $92.4 billion last year. The company’s market cap on January 31, 2023 stood at $78.5 billion, making it one of the most valuable retail companies in the world. 

Madison Funds made the following comment about Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) in its fourth-quarter 2022 investor letter:

“Despite having already addressed excess inventories, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) reported a disappointing third quarter and further cut fourth quarter guidance. Although sales were slightly better than expected, Target saw a slowdown in discretionary sales. Gross margins were below expectations with higher markdowns, increased shrink, and incremental costs. Long-term, we expect Target to be able to return to operating margins in the 6% to 8% range as inventories return to normal levels as well as seeing a normalization in supply chain costs.”

11. The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $94.479 Billion

The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) was incorporated in 1962 and is headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts. Together with its subsidiaries, The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) operates as a discount apparel and home fashion retailer. The company has four segments – Marmaxx, HomeGoods, TJX Canada, and TJX International. In January 2022, the annual revenue came in at $48.5 billion, indicating year-over-year growth of 51.07%. The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) is one of the most valuable retail companies in the world based on market cap. 

Madison Funds made the following comment about The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) in its fourth quarter 2022 investor letter:

“In the fourth quarter, the Consumer Discretionary sector was the largest positive contributor to our relative performance, in part driven by contributions from The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX). TJX is a leading off-price apparel and home goods retailer. After a couple of years of bumpy performance due to closing stores during the height of the pandemic and absorbing rising supply chain costs, sales and margins have reverted towards more normal levels. We believe TJX’s consumer value proposition remains terrific and they will continue to gobble up market share from department stores over the long term.”

10. JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $107.288 Billion

JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) was incorporated in 2006 and is headquartered in Beijing, the People's Republic of China. It is an internet retail company that offers consumer electronics products, home appliances, household items, and general merchandise products. JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) is a leading B2C e-commerce company in China and is expected to see significant growth in the industry which is projected to increase by 21% between 2022 to 2025. JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) is one of the most valuable retail companies worldwide. 

Here is what Argosy Investors has to say about JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) in its Q3 2021 investor letter:

“We sold JD as a result of the furor over Chinese stocks during the quarter. We had been concerned about China’s lack of respect for investor rights for some time, and Beijing has become significantly more aggressive in asserting itself of late. In addition, the legal structure Chinese companies use to come public in the U.S., a Cayman Islands shell corporation leaves American investors with an unsure path to recovering value should these companies cease to trade on U.S. exchanges. Because of the uncertainty, we exited our position in JD completely. We still love JD’s long-term prospects, but we cannot estimate the legal/regulatory risk associated with these companies anymore. More broadly, we are freeing up cash for some other positions we already own which have declined in this market, and after additional review, remain attractive.”

9. CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $115.255 Billion

CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) was founded in 1963 and is headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. It is a health services provider that operates through Health Care Benefits, Pharmacy Services, and ​​Retail/LTC segments. The company's Retail/LTC segment sells prescription and over-the-counter drugs, consumer health and beauty products, and personal care products. The company was priorly known as CVS Caremark Corporation and changed its name to CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) in September 2014. 

Here is what Vltava Fund has to say about CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

“CVS is a leader in the provision of healthcare services in the USA. It has three main businesses: an enormous network of pharmacies, a health insurance company, and “prescription benefit management”, which is a kind of intermediary between insurance companies and pharmacies. This is the result of large acquisitions over the past 15 years – most notably of Caremark (2007) and Aetna (2018). The markets had deemed its acquisition of health insurer Aetna too expensive (and we agree), so CVS stock then fell into disfavour for a few years.

We took advantage of this in the summer of 2020 and brought the stock into our portfolio at a time when its price was pressed down further by the coronavirus pandemic. CVS is a giant. It has revenues of USD 300 billion, making it one of the largest companies in the world. It is a relatively stable and highly profitable company with strong free cash flow. Over the past few years, CVS has focused primarily on reducing debt.

This is already much lower than it had been after the Aetna acquisition, and most of the cash is now likely to go to shareholders through share buybacks or be used for smaller acquisitions to grow the company further. CVS trades at about 11 times annual earnings, which is a very appealing valuation given the expected future growth in profitability and overall modest cyclicality in its business.”

8. Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $124.357 Billion

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) and its subsidiaries function as home improvement retailers worldwide. They provide a range of products for construction, maintenance, repair, remodeling, and decoration. Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW)’s annual revenue as of January 30, 2022 stood at $96.25 billion, up from $89.5 billion during the same period last year. With a market cap of $124.3 billion as of January 31, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) is one of the most valuable retail companies globally. 

Baron Funds made the following comment about Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

“Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) is the second-largest home improvement center in the U.S. The company has several competitive advantages including scale, distribution efficiencies, interconnected retail through stores/internet, excellent management, and a strong balance sheet. The company is valued at only 14 times estimated earnings per share versus its long-term average P/E multiple of approximately 18 times estimated earnings per share.

The shares of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. increased 7% in the most recent quarter following better-than-expected quarterly business results. Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement center in the U.S. The company has several competitive advantages including scale, distribution efficiencies, interconnected retail through stores/internet, excellent management, and a strong balance sheet. We believe the shares are attractively valued at only 14 times estimated earnings per share versus a long-term average P/E multiple of approximately 18 times estimated earnings per share.”

7. NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $196.394 Billion

NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) designs, develops, and markets athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories worldwide. NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) is one of the most valuable retail companies in the world, with a market capitalization of $196.3 billion. At the end of May 2022, the company’s annual revenue came in at $46.7 billion, up from $44.5 billion last year. 

Polen Capital made the following comment about NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) in its Q4 2022 investor letter:

“Adobe and NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) were solid performers in the quarter as some of the doom and gloom narratives around these companies have waned as they both saw strong recent business results. Nike has been dealing with weak demand in China (mostly due to rolling COVID lockdowns) but also a bloated inventory position in North American apparel as well. Supply chain issues caused delays in last year’s inventory shipments. As those were overcome, newer orders came in earlier than expected causing the spike in inventory. On its most recent earnings call, it became clear to us that this inventory spike is a temporary supply issue and narrowly focused in apparel. Demand for Nike products is strong, especially for footwear where nearly every geography grew over 30% in constant currencies in the past quarter. The company expects the inventory issue to be largely behind it in the next two to three quarters and is already seeing inventory levels decline sequentially.”

6. Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

Market Capitalization as of January 31: $224.875 Billion

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) operates membership warehouses in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Australia, Spain, France, Iceland, China, and Taiwan, offering branded and private-label merchandise products. At the end of August 2022, Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)’s annual revenue came in at nearly $227 billion, up from $196 billion last year. 

In addition to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) is one of the leading retail companies worldwide.

Madison Funds made the following comment about Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) in its fourth-quarter 2022 investor letter:

“Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) stock fell after November sales results showed a slowing consumer. The slower November sales were followed by a slight first quarter miss with lower-than-expected margins. Costco commented that they are not seeing trade-down but private label penetration has increased modestly. Traffic continues to be positive, and Costco remains well-positioned in a more challenging macro environment due to its strong value proposition.”

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Disclosure: None. 15 Most Valuable Retail Companies In The World is originally published on Insider Monkey.