In the midst of a strengthening US dollar, plummeting oil prices and China’s economic slowdown, the 2016 Global Powers of Retailing report revealed that South Africa continued to dominate the Africa/Middle East region in the study, with five of the eight Africa/Middle East retailers in the top 250 being South African.
The report identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world based on publicly available data for fiscal 2014 and analyses their performance based on geographic region, primary product sector, e-commerce activity and other factors.
South African retailers in the top 250
- Taking over from Shoprite Holdings Ltd, the top performing South Africa retailer is Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd., being 101st on the list, with FY2014 retail revenue of US$10,240 mil.
- Shoprite Holdings Ltd is the 2nd best SA retailer, falling into position 105 (up from 107 last year), with a retail revenue of US$9,960 mil.
- Acquisitions boosted revenue for two South African retailers. In August 2014, Woolworths acquired Australian department store chain David Jones. In March 2015, Steinhoff International bought South African value-oriented clothing and footwear retailer Pepkor.
The 8 retailers in Africa/Middle East region
Retail revenue rank
|Global rank||Name of company||Country of origin||
2014 retail revenue (US$m)
|1||101||Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd.||South Africa||10 240|
|2||105||Shoprite Holdings Ltd.||South Africa||9 960|
|3||153||BİM Birleşik Mağazalar A.Ş.||Turkey||6 621|
|4||161||Pick n Pay Stores Limited||South Africa||6 125|
|5||165||Emke Group/Lulu Group International||UAE||5,800|
|6||172||Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC||UAE||5 603|
|7||180||The SPAR Group Ltd.||South Africa||5 210|
|8||187||Woolworths Holdings Ltd.||South Africa||4 950|
*(Comment) Massmart Holdings Limited, if included separately to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. would rank 3rd in the Africa/Middle East Region, marginally higher than Pick n Pay, per their 2014 Annual report with ZAR revenues of R78,173bn
The fastest growing of South Africa’s retailers
- Both Steinhoff and Shoprite are on the list of the world’s 50 fastest-growing retailers
- The eight retailers representing the Africa/Middle East region generated composite growth of 19.4 percent, 5 times greater than the Top 250 as a whole.
- 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. Nearly one-third of their retail revenue came from foreign operations in 2014.
The dominant product sectors
A product sector analysis showed that as a group, apparel and accessories retailers were the fastest growing and most profitable product sector in 2014, as it was in the previous year.
Retailers of fast-moving consumer goods represented the largest product sector and accounted for half of all Top 250 retailers and two-thirds of Top 250 retail revenue in 2014.
South Africa fell firmly within this category with FMCG retailers, Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths, dominating the list of top Africa/Middle East retailers.
Read more on who the top 10 retailers in the world are, e-Commerce trends and more. Get the Global Powers of Retailing 2016 report.