In a digital world, we live in, everything goes online. An example would be grocery shopping, health-related services, professional consultations — all that is e-commerce.
E-commerce takes place anytime you are selling or buying goods online, which basically means all the time! This not so new of a thing gave rise to the development of many technologies and systems related to Internet marketing, online transactions, supply management, data management, and collection, as well as e-commerce security.
According to www.statista.com, the e-commerce market is expected to rise by 56% in 2015–2020. E-commerce is, by far, the most convenient way for customers to purchase products. Online shoppers can buy goods from the comfort of their home, no matter where they live as long as they have access to the internet, from any location in the world. Online shopping brings even more pros; it offers a much greater choice of products at competitive prices and allows buyers to research about products or services, compare prices, and make informed decisions at their own pace.
eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, and… IKEA? We all use these brand names every day. But did you know that all these companies are on top of the e-commerce market? Talking about e-commerce giants, we must say a few words about Walmart, which is the biggest shot in the retailing industry right now.
E-commerce retailers top brick and mortar companies in that online platforms are accessible, user-friendly, and provide a diverse and extensive offer, which is greatly appreciated by the visitors to the online shops’ websites. Let’s see the best online shopping platforms!
2. Top Walmart Competitors
In this article, we will look at the main Walmarts competitors. We will give you some essential background information to start with and then, we will compare services, and markets in which both these companies and Walmart compete. Scroll down to keep reading!
Amazon.com, Inc. is an American international technology company based in Seattle, Washington. The corporation operates and is a leading player in the sectors of e-commerce, digital streaming, cloud computing, and AI.
The company was created back in 1995 by Jeff Bezos, who is now the President, CEO, and Chairman of the company. Initially, Amazon was an online shop offering books only, but over time the company has established itself as a global marketplace with the world’s biggest selection of everything from electronics and digital services to food and apparel. Amazon owns an impressive lineup of over 40 subsidiaries. Amazon has a number of products and services available, like Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and more. The company also offers a handful of comprehensive streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video. The corporation even has its own publishing subsidiary and a film and televisions studio, Amazon Studio. All these products and brands together is not yet a complete list of what the company has to offer and is just to give you an idea of how large Amazon’s online presence is. And this is why Amazon is considered Walmart’s toughest competitor right now, even though Amazon’s revenue for the year 2018 was half the Walmart’s revenue ($500.34 B)!
Revenue: $232.887 B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1994
CEO: Jeff Bezos
Sector: Cloud computing, E-commerce, Artificial intelligence, Consumer electronics, Digital distribution
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese multinational giant company that focuses on e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology. The conglomerate was founded by Yun Ma and Chung Tsai in 1999. The company owns and operates a diverse selection of sales services via e-commerce websites like Alibaba.com, Tmall.com or AliExpress.com, as well as online payment platforms, like Alipay, shopping search engines and cloud computing services and AI technology.
Alibaba is the world’s largest retailer and e-commerce company in the world. As of 2018, the company has the 9th highest global brand value. Alibaba ships parcels across all countries in the world except for just 20! Over the years, the group has gradually expanded its reach. For example, in 2013, Alibaba cofounded Cainiao, a company for delivery of packages in China. In 2016, the group announced its growing interest in Lazada, a Singaporean e-commerce company. While in 2017, Alibaba launched a chain of supermarkets. Also in 2017, Alibaba Group and Marriott International hotel group agreed to a strategic co-operation. All these business moves and unbelievable spread of services is why we believe that Alibaba is a tough competitor for both Walmart and Amazon.
Revenue: ¥376.844 B ($56.152 B, 2019)
Country of origin: China
Year of foundation: 1999
CEO: Daniel Zhang
IKEA is a Swedish-based multinational furniture retailer. The company designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, and all kinds of home products. IKEA’s work has always been identified with modernism and minimalism, as well as sustainability and excellent work ethic. In recent years, IKEA had introduced a few new initiatives, like going into the smart home business or when it started producing solar PV systems for houses and flats. Currently, Ikea is expressing an interest in partnering with local companies in order to reduce greenhouse gases emission due to transport.
IKEA was launched in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, who was a carpenter and was only seventeen years of age at that time. As of June 2019, there are exactly 423 IKEA stores operating across 52 countries with the majority of stores in Europe. Until recently, most of the company’s stores and factories were owned by a holding company called INGKA. All in all, through its great efforts and marketing, IKEA has gained the trust of millions of consumers worldwide and sports an outstanding selection of over 12,000 products, which makes IKEA the main Walmart competitor in the furniture market.
Revenue: €37.05B (2018)
Country of origin: Sweden
Year of foundation: 1943
CEO: Jesper Brodin
4. Home Depot
Home Depot Inc. is an American-originated home improvement company. Home Depot is one of the top retailers of tools, garden products, house improvement products, and building materials. Besides selling DIY products, the company markets various services to facilitate upgrading of the home, including the installation of products such as windows, roofs, floor tiles, kitchen cabinets, and more. The Home Depot was established by Bernard Marcus, Arthur Blank, Ron Brill, and Pat Farrah in 1978. The company operates mainly in the United States (in all 50 states), but some of Home Depot’s stores were also opened in Canada and Mexico.
The Home Depot is the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, ahead of Lowe’s. The company employs over 400,000 people in its 2,280 stores and actively sponsors athletes and various sports teams. All that combined with affordable prices is the most effective form of advertising. But while Walmart is not your typical home improvement store as Home Depot or Lowe’s, it is worth noting that Walmart is perfect for an average shopper because it sells everything you need to make some basic home improvement.
Revenue: $108.2B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1978
CEO: Craig Menear
Costco (Costco Wholesale Corporation) is a chain of membership-only discount stores in the USA. The company has opened 535 stores in the United States so far, 100 in Canada, around 30 in each Mexico, the UK, and Japan, and a few in a couple of other locations across the world. The history of Costco dates back to 1976, but the first proper retail warehouse club had not opened until 1983. Costco has gained visibility for selling products at low prices, often in large quantities. Because of that, the company’s primary targets are big families and business. The chain offers a very, very broad range of services; including Costco concierge service for members who purchase electronics, Costco photo center, Costco Auto Program, Costco Optical, Costco Travel, and Foodservice. However, Costco would not be on that list of not for its excellent online shopping. Towards the end of the year 2017, Costco introduced same-day and two-day grocery delivery options for members.
Due to its high standards, favorable online reviews, and exclusive member services, Costco has been acknowledged globally and earned many prizes, and is also considered to be one of Walmart’s fiercest competitors. As of 2015, Costco ranked second as the largest retailer in the world after Walmart. While as of 2016, Costco was the largest retailer of top quality choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine in the world. The company is also regarded as the best employer in the United States. In the US, Costco competes against other two operating membership warehouses, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Revenue: $141.6B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1983
Chairman: Hamilton E. James, President, and CEO: W. Craig Jelinek
eBay Inc. is a multinational e-commerce company of American origins. The corporation was launched to make online shopping more convenient and was intended for people and businesses to sell and buy a variety of services and goods, like electronics, appliances, equipment, vehicles, even domain names, all this including tons of random items.
eBay was founded in California in the year 1995, by a computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as part of a personal project. Starting from the year 2002, eBay has been acquiring, either partially or wholly, companies like PayPal (from 2002 to 2015), Craigslist, Skype, StubHub, and other online and mobile e-commerce platforms. Apart from eBay’s online auctions, the website also allows to shop by SKU numbers such as ISBN, and also provides services like online event ticket trading (via StubHub), or marketing services like online classified ads (via Kijiji, or eBay Classifieds). Their services also used to include online money transfers (via PayPal).
Revenue: $10.746B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1995
CEO: Devin Wenig, Chairman: Thomas J. Tierney
Lowe’s Companies, Inc., similarly to Home Depot that we have already included in our list, is an American retail home improvement company. The chain owns over 2,000 home improvement and hardware stores across the United States and Canada. The company has a workforce of over 300,000 people in North America.
Lowe’s markets and distributes garden products, tools, construction products, and services related to home maintenance and repairs. It all started when Lucius Smith Lowe opened the very first store in 1921. After Lucius’ death, his son, Jim, bought the business from his sister who was the one who inherited it. But the business started only in 1943 when Jim made Carl Buchan a partner. Ten years later, they divided the company between themselves and went separate ways. Sadly, Jim died at 44. In the same year, the company went public. After a few years of hardships caused by weak market and emerging competition, they got back on track. Ever since then, things have been going in the right direction for Lowe’s, which is now the second-biggest hardware chain in the United States right after Home Depot. On an international scale, although Lowe’s remains the second-biggest hardware chain, it outperforms such large European retailers like Leroy Merlin, B&Q and OBI.
Revenue: $68.619B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1921
CEO: Marvin Ellison
ALDI, a German-based company, is in fact the brand of two discount supermarket chains. The chain was created by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1946 as they transformed their mother’s store, Essen, that at the time was already around for over 30 years. In 1960, the family business split into two individual companies named Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd. Despite the fact that the two stores have been standalone entities since then, it is not rare to see both names appear side by side on some documents or shop signs.
Aldi’s Nord division manages about 2,500 stores in Germany except for the southern regions, while Aldi Süd owns 1,600 stores in western and southern parts of Germany. Globally, Aldi Nord operates exclusively in Europe, in the Benelux countries, France, Portugal and more, while Aldi Süd operates in China and Australia and different European countries, like i.a. Great Britain, Hungary, and Italy. Both Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd also successful in the US market, having 1,600 stores as of 2017. Together, Aldi owns over 10,000 stores in 20 countries.
Revenue: €53B (2010)
Country of origin: Germany
Year of foundation: 1946
CEO: Torsten Hufnagel
JD.com, Inc. (also known as Jingdong) is a Chinese company specializing in e-commerce, one of the largest online retailer in China. JD.com is also the main competitor of Alibaba’s Tmall. JD.com owns the world’s largest drone delivery system and base. JD’s distribution draws on high tech and AI innovations and uses drones, robots, and other advanced systems to this end. So in this area, JD.com leaves the retailing competition far behind.
The company was formed in 1998 by Liu Qiangdong, and 6 years later went online. Over time, the online store began to sell mobile phones, electronics, computers, home appliances, apparel, and other merchandise products. Also, the domain name changed two times; the first time in 2007 to 360buy.com, and then in 2013 to JD.com. Right now, the stakes in the company are divided between its founder Liu Qiangdong (15.8%), Tencent (20%), and Walmart (12%).
Revenue: ¥462.019B ($67.198B 2018)
Country of origin: China
Year of foundation: 1998
CEO: Liu Qiangdong
Sector: Internet, Online retailing
Walgreens is an American pharmacy store chain. It is the second-largest such type of chain in the United States, being overtaken only by CVS Health. In addition to pharmaceutics and typical health products, Walgreens’ offer also includes household products, beauty, and personal care, fresh foods, as well as photo services. The company provides a wide range of health services like consultation, infusions services, clinical services, emergency or personal care; all to be delivered and performed either at home, hospital, in the office, or at the Walgreen.com.
The company’s story began in Chicago in 1901 with Charles R. Walgreen. After he passed away, his son, Charles R. Walgreen Jr. and his grandson, Charles “Cork” R. Walgreen III, took over the company. Their business experienced some increase in sales during alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and then suffered as a result of the Great Depression. Over 70 years later, in 2012 the company purchased 45% interest in Switzerland-based Alliance Boots and in 2014 it acquired the remaining 55%. The merged company formed Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. As of 2018, the chain managed over 9,500 stores across all 50 states and two US territories.
Revenue: $131.537B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1901
CEO: Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman: James A. Skinner, President: Alex Gourlay
11. CVS Health
CVS Health is a retail pharmacy based in the United States. Consumer Value Stores (CVS) was founded in 1963 by the Goldstein brothers and their business partner Ralph Hoagland. CVS started out selling health and beauty products, and later on added pharmacies to its offer. After a few years, the company was sold to The Melville Corporation. However, in 1996, CVS Corporation became a standalone company once again. In the years from 2006 to 2015, CVS made some clever business moves. Kickstarting 2006, CVS acquired 700 freestanding drug stores of supermarket chain Albertsons and became a sole owner of Minneapolis-based MinuteClinic. Then, in the next years, CVS purchased Longs Drugs, the Brazilian-based Drogaria Onofre, Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Coram offering infusion services, and Omnicare, respectively in 2008, 2013, 2014, and the last two in 2015. In 2015 CVS Health also acquired all of Target’s pharmacies and clinic businesses. As a result, the Target pharmacies and clinics were rebranded as CVS Health pharmacies and MinuteClinic respectively.
In the year 2017, CVS announced that it is putting up 25 kiosks in high traffic areas. These will be installed at bus terminals, airports, and college campuses and will sell personal toiletry items, batteries, and healthy snack foods. By the end of 2017, CVS agreed to purchase health insurer Aetna. All this briefly explains why CVS is one of the world’s most valuable companies.
Revenue: $194.579B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1996
President and CEO: Larry Merlo
Sector: Retail health care
12. 7 Eleven
7-Eleven Inc. is an international chain of convenience stores of Japanese-U.S. origins. The chain was formed in 1927 by Joe C Thompson and his newly purchased Southland Corporation. The stores were named Tote’m Stores which was inspired by Alaskan heritage. The convenience stores initially offered just basic everyday items. After a year, the company started building gas stations in some locations. Next, the ice station service boys started wearing uniforms which turned out to be a great marketing strategy. Tote’m almost gone bankrupt when the Great Depression struck in 1931. As a continued effort to improve the financial situation, in 1946 the franchise was renamed 7-Eleven to reflect the stores’ new opening hours. Later, more and more 7-eleven stores started working on a 24-hour basis. In 1971, the company acquired convenience stores of the Pak-A-Sak chain. In 1991, Southland got sold off to Ito-Yokado and Seven-Eleven Japan that as a result controlled 70% of the company. In 1999, Southland Corp. was renamed 7-Eleven, Inc. In 2005, Ito-Yokado formed Seven & I Holdings Co. and 7-Eleven became its subsidiary. In 2010, the first “green” (environmentally-friendly designed) 7-Eleven stores opened and 7-Eleven launched the Slurpee drink in the United States. In the following years, the chain introduced other carbonated beverages and breakfast options, including coffee, fresh-made daily sandwiches, fresh fruit and more, and besides food, gasoline, financial services, and product delivery services.
The 7-Eleven chain is successful in many countries in Asia, with 20,700 stores in Japan, which is more than anywhere else in the world. The chain also operates well in USA, Mexico, Canada, and Australia, and in some locations in Europe.
Revenue: $59.2B (2018)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1927
CEO & President: Joseph DePinto
Sector: Retail (Convenience stores)
Target Corporation is one of the top 10 largest retailers in the United States. George Dayton established the company in 1902 under the name Goodfellow Dry Goods. In 1969, the company merged with the J.L. Hudson Company and became the Dayton-Hudson Corporation. In 1999, the Target.com website was launched. Ultimately, the parent company changed its name to the Target Corporation and began separating itself of its department store chains, which completed in 2004. In 2017, Target launched an online order service, Drive Up, which makes it possible for customers to order products online for pickup outside the store.
In 2011, Target began its first international expansion, into Canada, which turned out to be a spectacular flop. As mentioned before, in 2015, Target sold off all of its pharmacies and clinics to CVS Health. Since 2017, Target has been interested in acquiring Shipt, an online grocery delivery service. Doing so would help Target introduce same-day delivery and get ahead of top e-commerce retailers. As of 2019, Target manages 1,851 stores in the United States. The brand has expanded to a few retail formats, which include the discount store Target, the hypermarket SuperTarget with a full grocery assortment, and small-format stores.
Revenue: $75.356B (2019)
Country of origin: USA
Year of foundation: 1902
Chairman & CEO: Brian C. Cornell
Tesco (Tesco plc) is a British-based multinational groceries and general products, retailer. It is the ninth-largest retailer in the world by revenues.
Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen. The company has gone international with stores in eleven countries across Asia and Europe, being the market leader of groceries in the UK, Ireland, Hungary, and Thailand. In the last 50 years, Tesco purchased hundreds of Williamson’s, Harrow Stores, Irwins, and Charles Phillips shops and took over the chains Victor Value, Hillard’s, and William Low, and the retail arm of Associated British Foods. The last Tesco’s acquisition took place in 2013 when the retailer bought Giraffe, the restaurant and cafe chain. In the same year, the company pulled out of the US market. In 2017, the company confirmed selling its in-shop opticians’ business to Vision Express.
Since its founding, Tesco’s offer has evolved dramatically. Now the chain sells books, electronics, clothes, petrol, financial, telecoms and online services. In the late 1990s, Tesco introduced a loyalty card, ‘Clubcard,’ and launched an online home shopping service. Tesco attracts a wide range of consumers as it provides a great selection of goods from low-cost “Tesco Value” products to its “Tesco Finest” line. Tesco has also developed several shop formats, like a larger Tesco Extra, medium-sized Tesco Metro, small Tesco Express, and even smaller One Stop shops.
Revenue: £63,911M (2019)
Employees: 511,000Country of origin: UKYear of foundation: 1919
Group CEO: Dave Lewis
Lidl (Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG) is a German-based international discount supermarket chain that is part of the Schwarz Group, the fifth-largest retailer in the world. The chain owns over 10,000 stores across 29 countries in Europe and the United States. As for Europe, Lidl has its stores in every member state of the European Union but Latvia and Estonia, and in Switzerland and Serbia which are outside the EU.
Lidl was founded by Josef Schwarz in 1930 as a general food wholesaler. After his son, Dieter Schwarz, took over the company, Lidl started to introduce discount markets, larger supermarkets, and cash and carry wholesale markets. Lidl is the main competitor of the Aldi in the United States market and several other countries. Generally, Lidl offers a bigger selection of branded products than ALDI does. By producing its gourmet foods in just one European Union country for its whole worldwide chain, Lidl manages to sell them at low prices. What is more, the chain also supplies its discount stores with local products from the country where the store is located.
Country of origin: Germany
Year of foundation: 1930
CEO: Jesper Højer, Chairman: Dieter Schwarz
Do you agree with the list of Walmart’s competitor we put together? Share your opinion in the comment section! And if you liked this article, you may want to read more on Datantify blog! Datanify is a top provider of databases of international companies. Our databases are a final product of thorough research and expertise, and they include special requirements of our clients. Using our services, your team no longer worries about carrying out research — we do that for you — and that’s how you save time and money!
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