In A First, Chinese, Russian Retailers Crack 250 Largest List

Further evidence of a growingly global retail community materialized this week when the annual list of the world's 250 largest retailers showed chains from China and Russia. It was the first time merchants from either country had placed in the top 250.

The top entries from those countries that made the list were China's Bailian Group (7.5 billion Euros), which entered the list at number 101, and Russia's X5 Retail Group NV ($3.6 billion) at number 191, according to this story in India Retailing.

The complete list itself also shows other changes in the world, with Tesco PLC ($80 billion) assuming its place as the world's fourth-largest retailer, pushing Germany's Metro AG ($75 billion) down to fifth.

Wal-Mart kept its number one slot. Indeed, Wal-Mart's $349 billion group sales for 2006 is more than three-and-one-half times the roughly $98 billion reported by France's Carrefour S.A., widening Wal-Mart's lead over the world's second-largest retailer. The American HomeDepot chain ($91 billion) came in third.

The rest of the Top Ten were dominated by American retailers ($66 billion Kroger at #6, $60 billion Target at #7, $60 billion Costco at #8 and $53 billion Sears at #9) except the #10 slot, help by Germany's Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG (52.4 billion Euro).

That Tesco/Metro change marks "the first movement among the Top five since 2003," according to the India Retailing story.