mobile menu mobile search

South Africa’s 5 biggest retailers vs the world

South Africa’s 5 biggest retailers vs the world

A new report from Deloitte ranks the world’s 250 biggest retail groups, with five South African retailers making the grade.

According to the report, South African retailers have been largely hit by a slowdown in China’s economy, as well as slower growth evident in many emerging markets.

The MEA region had eight retailers represented (including the five from South Africa), which generated composite growth of 19.4%, 4.5 times greater than the Top 250 as a whole.

Acquisitions boosted revenue for two South African retailers.

In August 2014, Woolworths acquired Australian department store chain David Jones, and in March 2015, Steinhoff International bought South African value-oriented clothing and footwear retailer Pepkor.

“Retailers based in Africa and the Middle East have expanded well outside their home countries – although mainly within the region, with the exception of Steinhoff – operating in an average 12.4 countries,” the group said.

“Nearly one-third of their retail revenue came from foreign operations in 2014.”

Biggest retailers in South Africa

Five South African retailers made the cut into the global 250, but only one came close to being in the top 100.

Steinhoff International Holdings was ranked 101st on the list, with 10.2 billion in retail revenue. The group operates in 29 countries, and owns Pepkor and JD Group – two big retailers in south Africa.

Shoprite Holdings is the second biggest retail brand in the country, ranked 105th with $9.9 billion in retail revenue, operating in 15 countries; followed by Pick n Pay, ranked 161st with 6.1 billion in revenue from 7 countries.

The other two South African retailers are Spar Group (180th) with 5.2 billion in revenue, operating in 10 countries; and Woolworths Holdings (187th) with 4.95 billion in revenue, operating in 14 countries.

In the study’s top 50 fastest grower list, Steinhoff is also ranked as the 5th fastest growing global retailer, with a 41.6% compound annual growth rate between 2009 and 2014.

The world’s biggest retailers

# Group Country Countries of operation Retail Revenue (US$m)
1 Wal-Mart Stores USA 28 485 651
2 Costco Wholesale USA 10 112 640
3 The Kroger Co. USA 1 108 465
4 Schwarz Unternehmenstreuhand Germany 26 102 694
5 Tesco UK 13 99 713
6 Carrefour S.A. France 34 98 497
7 Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. Germany 17 86 470
8 Metro Germany 32 85 570
9 The Home Depot USA 4 83 176
10 Walgreen Co. USA 2 76 392
11 Target USA 1 72 618
12 USA 14 70 080
13 Groupe Auchan France 13 69 622
14 CVS Health Corporation USA 3 67 798
15 Casino Guichard-Perrachon France 29 64 462

South Africa’s biggest retailers

# Group Country Countries of operation Retail Revenue
101 Steinhoff International South Africa 29 10 240
105 Shoprite South Africa 15 9 960
161 Pick n Pay South Africa 7 6 125
180 Spar South Africa 10 5 210
187 Woolworths South Africa 14 4 950

More on retailers

Richemont subsidiary merges with Italian online retailer

SA retailers failing online: report

First Orange retail store in SA launch date

BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
Join the Conversation
  • The Fly

    Spar and Woolworths are NOT South African !

    • Christopher☠Brunsdon

      Woolworths SA is South African. It was found in Cape Town 1931 and had no connection to the international Woolworths even though the founder used it as his inspiration.

    • Christopher☠Brunsdon

      Spar has a more complex business model for its global stores and Spar South Africa is its own retailer known as the Spar Group and listed on the JSE. So while the brand was not founded in South Africa originally, Spar Group is a South African company for the last 53 years.

      • For the most part, the Spar retail outlets are franchise operations, run by (and owned by) their individual proprietors.

    • Comeau


    • Nomo2

      Woolworths was founded in SA read this from Wikipedia:

      “Founded by Max Sonnenberg and his son Richard, Woolworths South Africa first opened its doors on 30 October 1931 in Plein Street Cape Town, in what had been the stately dining room of the famous Royal Hotel. While Sonnenberg had no affiliation with Woolworths in Europe, North America or Australia, his plan was to develop a chain of stores based on Woolworths Australasia Ltd.”

  • mccdyl001

    The jump between Walmart (#1 spot) and Cosco (#2) is insane! But they are everywhere I suppose, even here in SA in the form of Massmart (Game, Makro, Builders Warehouse).

    • TellMe

      Well, considering Game, Makro and Builders Warehouse are all Walmart, I am not surprised.

  • Joe Soap

    Burn them to the ground. Aren’t you bored of eating the same thing over and over again from Woolworths? These chain stores are like casinos siphoning money out of the communities and the country to their international owners/investors. Imagine we didn’t have this retail domination and you shopped at your local bakery or butcher. You’d be supporting small businesses. The profits would more than likely stay within and get spent in the local community and not whisked away to a foreign bank accounts. I promise you it’s this globalization that will enslave us all, putting all the wealth and power in the hands of the few, the 1%.

    • Tradecheck .info

      That is very fight club way of looking at it. I like it and it is true and bartering would also help a lot, locally produced and locally distributed products helping all the farmers along with the economic growth. The government need to develop skill to do things here and export.

      • Joe Soap

        Hey! We’ve covered this. You should know the 1st & 2nd rules.

        • Tradecheck .info

          3rd RULE: If someone says “stop” or goes limp, taps out the fight is over.

    • Sorry, but in today’s economy, my first loyalty is to my own wallet. I have made my own choices out of the SA biggies (it does not include those promoting endless fad-diet items), and most of the smaller efforts are both unaffordable and provide restricted product choices. The foreigners, when they are involved (not as much as the politicians would like to have us believe) tend to provide much better value for money.

      • Joe Soap

        While #ucking the farmers and as a result their farm workers out of money. When the large retail stores advertise BIG savings or a sale on an item, they are not giving away any of their own margin. They normally force the farmers to offer lower and lower prices. These middle men/retailers are sucking all the meat off the bone. It’s a monopoly of industry and a consolidation of all the wealth, eroding the middle class and widening the gap between the 1% and the dirt poor. Just for the sake of variety wouldn’t you want more independent stores? Perhaps you enjoy eating the same sub-par jam donuts at every generic bakery across the country.

Join our newest FREE BusinessTech newsletter today!