In general, Canadian retailing is gaining on the global retailing stage in terms of the revenue of the largest Canadian retail chains. In the past two years all of the largest Canadian retailers have improved their rankings on the annual Global Powers of Retailing list published by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and STORES Magazine. The increases for the biggest and best Canadian retailers have been slow and steady for the most part, but the trend has definitely been upwards.
In the most recent statistics provided by the Canadian government, retail trade contributed 76.9 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), surpassing the contribution of wholesale trade, which was $71.1 billion in that same time period (2011). There are approximately 1.8 million people employed by the Canadian retail industry, and employment by electronics and appliance stores has seen the biggest increases, along with employment with non-store (Internet based, for example) retailers.
Canada’s retail industry struggled during the critical December holiday shopping season in 2012, falling 2.1% when compared with same time period in 2011. This could be due to a consumer spending pull back, but it could also have something to do with the growing presence of international retailers, particularly via Internet channels. Of 10 largest Internet shopping sites used by Canadians, only two of them - Chapters/Indigo and The Source - are Canadian retail companies. Seven of the ten most popular retail shopping websites in Canada are based in the U.S., according to reports by the Huffington Post.
One exception to the slow-and-steady upward trending of Canadian retail companies is home improvement company RONA, which has made a meteoric rise on the global retail rankings, flying past Canadian legacy retail chain Hudson’s Bay Company and the Liquor Control Board in the two years after it first achieved a ranking on the World’s Largest Retailer list. Between the 2012 and 2013 Global Powers of retailing, RONA rose 47 positions in the World’s Largest Retailing ranks, thanks to some acquisitions in 2010, and a $1.35 billion increase in retail sales.
In that same period there were some significant changes in the global revenue rankings of other Canadian retail chains, although much less dramatic than the RONA rise. Canada’s largest retail chain, Loblaw hypermarkets nudged rose 8 ranking positions in just one year, almost breaking into the Top 30, which is not insignificant. In that same one year period, Canada’s largest grocery store chain, Sobey’s, fell four positions in the global retail ranks, losing ground to Italy’s largest supermarket chain, Coop Italia. To put things into perspective, both Sobey’s and Coop Italia are smaller than H-E-B, which is only #5 on the Largest U.S. Supermarkets ranking list.
Canadian Tire rose 11 positions in the global retail rankings between the 2012 and 2013 Global Powers of Retailing reports. Drugstore and pharmacy chain Katz made the most significant strides in that one-year period as well, rising 25 position in the global retail rankings to become one of the top 150 retail chains in the world.
What follows is a complete list of the largest Canadian retail chains ranked on the 2013 Global Powers of Retailing list. The number next to each company name represents the revenue ranking of the retail company (based on 2011 revenue figures), compared to 250 other "world's largest" retailers on the Global Powers list.
World's Largest Canada Retailers 2013 - Canadian Retailing Compared to the Top 250 Retail Companies in the World by Annual Revenue:
31 Loblaw Companies Ltd.
43 Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
58 Empire Company Ltd. (Sobeys)
86 Metro Inc.
94 Shoppers Drug Mart Corp.
107 Canadian Tire Corp., Ltd.
Specialty/Convenience Stores/Department Stores
122 Katz Group Inc.
188 RONA Inc.
236 Hudson’s Bay Company
Supermarket Liquor Control Board Ontario
More World's Largest Retailers:
- 2013 Largest U.S. Retail Companies
- Largest U.S. Retailers Downsizing and Closing Stores in 2013
- Largest Supermarket Chains in the U.S.
- What Is the World’s Largest Retail Store?