[Food retail Barometer] 6 charts to understand the financial health of the world’s Top 10 in 2023

The 3rd edition of our barometer presents a financial performance of the world's supermarket giants from 2017 to 2023. These are Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Seven & i, Target, Ahold-Delhaize, Carrefour, Albertsons and Aeon. With the exception of two players, most retailers managed to salvage net margins last year, despite inflationary and logistical pressures. Target and Walmart have almost regained their pre-Covid-19 profitability. In terms of e-commerce, food retailers are making progress, but are unable to break through the glass ceiling of 18% of sales.

Through Morgane Monteiro, Sophie Baqué, Aymeric Marolleau, Sara Chaouki. Published on 02 May 2024 à 10h45 - Update on 02 July 2024 à 12h55

For a 3rd year in a row, mind Retail compiled and analyzed financial indicators of the world’s largest food retailers. These are measures of sales, sales growth, share of online sales, operating margin, net margin and headcount (see methodology). This barometer includes 9 global industry leaders of Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Target, Ahold Delhaize, Seven & i, Carrefour, Albertsons and Aeon. Concerning Schwarz Group (Lidl and Kaufland) and Aldi, mind Retail decided not to wait for publication of annual figures due for June and July 2024. The two German discounters will be integrated into our report at a later date. We compare respective performances from 2017 to the end of 2023.

In grocery distribution, 2023 was marked by great instability (inflation, wars, farmers’ crisis, debt crisis, supply-chain tensions…) and strong arbitration in consumer budgets. In the Eurozone, HICP rose by 5.4% in 2023 (all products). Food inflation reached 11.8% in 2023 (Eurostat), i.e. a rise of 23.5% in two years.

In the U.S.A., inflation has been more moderate. According to Eurostat, HICP rose by 3% for the United States last year (all products). Food prices in particular rose by 5% in 2023 on an annualized basis, half as much as in the Eurozone. Given that food inflation in the U.S.A. for 2022 jumped by 11.4%, this rose by 17% over 2 sliding years. This is 6.5 points lower than on the Old Continent. “Food retailers faced all kinds of challenges this year,” said Ying Xu, C.E.O. of Wumart, at the World Retail Congress in Paris on April 17, 2024.

Carrefour’s sales grew twice as fast as Walmart and Costco

On average, the sales of our panel members grew by 3% in 2023 (excluding Aldi and Schwarz, at constant exchange rates). This was 4.2 points less than in 2022, when the figure was 7.2% on average (including Aldi), and less than in 2021, when it rose at 8%, due to the postponement of expenditure on leisure and travels under Covid-19 restrictions. In the chart below, sales are given in value terms, as no chain publishes growth in volume terms.…