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Global retail revenues continue to increase despite economic woes

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Report from Deloitte indicates revenues from the world's 250 largest retailers reached $4.3 trillion in the last fiscal year.

Despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world's 250 largest retailers reached and estimated $4.3 trillion in the last fiscal year (June 2012 through June 2013), and the average size of the top 250 retailers exceeded $17 billion, according to the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing Report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), in conjunction with STORES Media.  In addition, for the first time ever the report found that more than three-quarters of the world’s top e-retailers are part of the top 250 retailers globally.

"It is encouraging to see that the world's leading retailers were able to plough on through the difficult period to reap the rewards of increased consumer spend."

"The global retail industry got off to a difficult start in the last year," said Dr. Ira Kalish, DTTL Chief Global Economist. "However, it is encouraging to see that the world's leading retailers were able to plough on through the difficult period to reap the rewards of increased consumer spend. This has served to provide a much needed boost to global revenues with nearly 80% of the top 250 (199 companies) retailers posting an increase in retail revenue. Interestingly, for the first time this year's report shows that some of the top retailers undertook a series of sell-offs in order to remain profitable and ride out the tough trading period," Kalish added. 

Divestments lead to a shake-up of the top 10 global retailers

There was a shake-up among the world's 10 largest retailers last fiscal year, mostly as a result of a series of divestments. As a group, the top 10 grew more slowly than the top 250 the past fiscal year, with retail revenue growth of 4.2% versus the 4.9% growth in the previous fiscal year. While Wal-Mart increased its lead, Carrefour--formerly the world's second-largest retailer--fell to fourth place following back-to-back years of declining sales primarily attributable to the spinoff of the Dia hard discount chain in July 2011. Tesco, which jumped this year to second place, was also impacted by discontinued operations after shuttering its Fresh & Easy operations in the United States.

Emerging markets enjoy strong demand while Europe increases dependence on foreign markets

Retailers based in emerging markets continued to enjoy strong consumer demand in fiscal year 2012. Unlike the headwinds faced by retailers in mature markets, emerging market tailwinds continued to fuel aggressive organic growth. Emerging market retailers accounted for more than half (26) of the world's 50 fastest-growing retailers  in fiscal year 2012, including all four Russian top 250 companies, six of seven Africa/Middle East retailers, and six of nine based in Latin America.

"Over recent years, the developing economies have emerged as one of the most promising retail markets," said Vicky Eng, DTTL Global Sector Leader, Retail. "Latin American retailers led the way with 15% retail revenue growth, followed by retailers in the Africa/Middle East region.  Retailers are successfully adapting their strategies to adequately cater to the growing middle-class consumers in emerging economies where there is strong demand for consumer goods, ranging from cars and electronics to personal care products."

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