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Walmart Ranks First On the List of Top 25 Global Retailers by Revenue in 2021

Walmart nabbed the No.1 spot on a list of the top 25 global retailers, according annual revenue data compiled by GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

The big-box retailer reported $572.8 billion in annual revenue in fiscal year 2021, placing it at the top of GlobalData’s ranking system. Amazon nabbed the second-highest slot, with revenues of $469.8 billion last year. CVS Health, Costco, Home Depot, JD.com, Kroger, Walgreens, Target and Alibaba rounded out the rest of the top ten companies on the list.

Of the top 25 companies included on the list, half reported revenue growth of more than 8% year over year, despite pervasive pandemic-related challenges throughout the year. 70% reported positive growth compared to 2020 and three companies — Nike, Sainsbury’s and Walgreens — recording more than 100% growth.

All 25 of the retailers we tracked implemented measures to expand their business operations during the COVID-19 period,” said Divya Vootkuru, business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData. “Major online merchants such as Amazon, JD.com and Alibaba gained a revenue growth of above 20% in fiscal year 2021. Further, they saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 25% during the 2017–2021 period, driven by a significant increase in the number of annual active customers as buyers preferred to shop online.”

In March, Walmart also nabbed the No.1 spot on an annual list of the top 50 global retailers in 2022, compiled by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Kantar, a data, insight and consultancy company.

As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart was one of the standout companies that found a way to thrive throughout the global pandemic and accompanying supply chain issues that were present across the industry. For example, to prepare for the holiday season, Walmart managed to secure supply early and charter vessels to make sure it had enough inventory in stock.

In the company’s most recent quarter, Walmart beat sales expectations with reported revenues of $141.57 billion in Q1 compared to the $138.94 billion expected from analysts. However, the company missed earnings expectations for Q1, reporting adjusted earnings per share of $1.30 compared to an expected $1.48.

The earnings miss, according to executives, was a result of increased wage expenses and fuel costs in the supply chain, as well as a decrease in general merchandise sales due to inflation. With commodities like food and gas up so high, Walmart said consumers were spending less in general merchandise categories like apparel, which contributed to higher levels of inventory than desired.

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