The global retail industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to contain it. Not all retailers are created equal, however, and it’s been independent and specialty retailers that took the brunt of the lockdown while larger mass merchants will likely walk away from the crisis (relatively) unscathed. While thousands of small retailers in the United States and internationally are fighting for their existence after having been forced to shutter their stores for weeks, industry giants like Walmart or Amazon are facing a year of disappointing sales growth and lackluster profits at worst.
As the following chart shows, the two aforementioned companies are the world’s largest retailers by far, when looking at projected global retail sales for 2020. Considering the size and global footprint of Amazon, it’s quite astonishing how far ahead of its online rival Walmart still is in terms of retail sales. According to Kantar’s latest estimates, the retail giant headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas is expected to clock $527.8 billion in sales this year, putting it miles ahead of Amazon’s $268.2 billion in forecast sales. With estimated sales of $156.6 billion Costco completes the global top 3, with Germany’s Schwarz Group (parent of Lidl and Kaufland) the first non-U.S. company in the top 10.