Getting a strong foothold as a major retail player with the consumers of China has become the 21st-century gold rush for retailers around the world. The enormity of China's population is attractive enough but coupled with increasing wages and good employment prospects, the frenzy of activity from global retail companies is making China one of the most competitive retail markets on the planet.
China's Economic Growth
Overall, the economic growth in improved and expanded at a time when the U.S. and European economies were struggling just to maintain stability after the contraction of the Great Recession. However, China has experienced an economic slowdown, with limits placed on real estate development and attempts to control debt in recent years.
China's 2016 economic growth slowed down to its lowest point in seven years, at 6.7 percent. Growth in 2017 was slightly higher at 6.8 percent, and China's 2018 economic growth is expected to come in at around the same pace, of 6.7 percent.
Since 2011, there have been more Chinese citizens living in China's cities than in its rural areas. This makes retail customers easier to reach, although retail sales have slowed along with the rest of China's economy. This might account for the 9.4-percent year-over-year growth in retail sales in December 2017 and the 8.6-percent year-over-year growth in October 2018.
The World's 250 Largest Retailers
While China is a fertile retail market for international retailers and global flagship stores, it is also a difficult market because Chinese consumers have demonstrated a preference for and a loyalty to retailers that are native China-based companies. Apparently "Made in China" doesn't have any derogatory connotations when you live and shop in China. Even so, there are only a handful of Chinese retail chains that are dominant enough at home or abroad to qualify for the annual World's Largest Retailers List.
What follows is a complete list of the China-based retail chains considered to be among the largest retailers in the world, according to annual revenue. The number in the left column is the company's ranking number out of the list of 250 largest retailers globally. The rankings are based on sales figures, compared to other top retail organizations worldwide on the 2017 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and STORES Magazine Global Powers of Retailing List.
Retail Companies Based in China, Ranked Among
the 250 Largest Retailers In the World
Rank Store FY 2016 Revenue (USD $millions)
44 Suning Commerce Group Co., Ltd.
Electronics Specialty $22,364
60 China Resources Vanguard Co., Ltd.
81 Gome Home Appliance Group
Electronics Specialty $11,544
136 Shanghai Bailian Group Co., Ltd.
137 Yonghui Superstores Co., Ltd.
228 Chongqing Department Store Co., Ltd.
Department Store $4,012
235 Dashang Co., Ltd.
Department Store $3,856
239 Nonggongshang Supermarket (Group) Co. Ltd.