Retail’s 20 Biggest Companies

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
a man wearing a suit and tie

Retail's Moneymakers

Walmart, $500 Billion

Apple, $229 Billion

CVS Health, $184 Billion

Amazon, $177 Billion

Costco, $129 Billion.

Kroger, $122 Billion

Walgreen Boots Alliance, $118 Billion

Home Depot, $100 Billion

Target, $71 Billion

Lowe’s, $68 Billion

Albertsons, $59 Billion

Best Buy, $42 Billion

TJX, $35 Billion

Publix Super Markets, $34 Billion

Nike, $34 Billion

Rite Aid, $32 Billion

Macy’s, $24 Billion

Dollar General, $23 Billion

Starbucks, $22 Billion

Dollar Tree, $22 Billion

There are numerous ways to measure business success. Customer loyalty, innovation, growth, market share ― the list goes on and on. But good old fashion revenue is still the tried and true metric of business might.

For the 64th consecutive year Fortune’s iconic Fortune 500 ranks the nation’s largest companies by revenue. Walmart is once again the nation’s revenue leader across all business categories claiming the top spot with more than half a trillion in revenue. The retail behemoth’s annual take is more than double that of second-place finisher Exxon Mobil.

On the right is the top 20 retailers that made the annual ranking and their corresponding revenue numbers. Below are the top five pure retailers that made the list and a quick look at some of the innovations released over the past year that have helped keep them at the top of the list.


Not only is Walmart the biggest retailer it is the biggest company period. Its revenue is up 3% year over year and has crested the half a trillion dollar mark. The retailer continues to reinvent itself, focusing its efforts on battling rival Amazon on its own turf, building out its e-commerce capabilities both through acquisition and homegrown advancements. A cutting-edge website redesign and unique fulfillment options have supercharged Walmart’s digital business, helping drive a 33% increase in e-commerce sales in Q1 2018. Revenue: $500 Billion.

CVS Health

CVS has its sights set on being more than a retail pharmacy, with its planned acquisition of health insurance provider Aetna. When the acquisition is complete, it is predicted that the newly merged company will have revenue north of $240 billion, which this year would be good for fourth place in this annual ranking. As it stands now CVS Health finished in seventh place in the ranking, sandwiched between rivals Walmart and Amazon. CVS continues to invest in technology to both enhance the shopping experience and provide the enterprise with insight into market trends and consumer behavior. The retailer is investing a large portion of its $1.2 billion benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in its analytic capabilities with a focus on cutting-edge predictive capabilities. Revenue: $184 Billion.


The online giant jumped up the rankings this year, landing in eighth place, up from its 12th place finish in 2017. Amazon increased its revenue by more than 30% year-over-year to more than $177 billion. While its revenue is massive, its profits remain relatively thin at $3 billion ― a 28% increase year-over-year. The major jump in revenue and profits is due to last year’s acquisition of the healthy and organic grocer Whole Foods. With the Whole Foods acquisition, Amazon now has a massive physical footprint to match its industry leading digital storefront. The acquisition has been a windfall for Whole Foods shoppers who have seen prices drop at the notoriously pricey supermarket chain, while benefits continue to increase thanks to the implementation of Amazon’s Prime membership at the grocer. Revenue: $177 Billion.


The warehouse style retailer improved one position on Fortune’s ranking to claim 15th place this year with revenue of $129 billion. While the lion’s share of the retailer’s income is still generated at the store level improvements to its digital offerings, including the introduction of one- and two-day delivery  options. Membership fees are still the secret to Costco’s success, with the majority of its income coming from its 90 million members’ dues. In the U.S. 90% of members renewed their membership in 2017, up a hair over the retailers 87% global renewal rate. Revenue: $129 Billion.


The world’s biggest grocer crept up the rankings this year improving its rank by one position finishing in 17th place thanks to its $122 billion in revenue. It has been a busy year for Kroger on the technology front deploying supply chain, digital, and in-store enhancements all designed to improve the customer experience. Kroger just signed an exclusive partnership with leading U.K. online grocer Ocado which could result in the development of up to 20 automated warehouses over the next three years. As digital grocery shopping continues to gain momentum Kroger is staying on the cutting-edge in the arena with curbside pickup and home delivery through its growing partnership with Instacart. Revenue: $122 Billion.

Forbes’ Methodology: Companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years. Included in the survey are companies that are incorporated in the U.S. and operate in the U.S. and file financial statements with a government agency. Excluded are private companies not filing with a government agency; companies incorporated outside the U.S.; and U.S. companies consolidated by other companies, domestic or foreign, that file with a government agency. Also excluded are companies that failed to report full financial statements for at least three-quarters of the current fiscal year.

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