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US retail giants slip in global rankings; fast fashion brands on the rise

Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing ranking 2018, which lists the largest 250 global retailers, reports US retail giants are spiralling down international market, while e-commerce, European fast fashion and sportswear brands are tightening their grip. Big US department stores are among those that have lost out most in the ranking this year: Macy’s dropped two positions, down at the number 37 spot, while Sears has dropped from 39th to 45th since 2017. The grand old American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch have sunk, having totally dropped out of the top 250 global retailers. Gap, , one of the world’s biggest fashion company, has also been overtaken by Japanese group Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company, which forced it to 61st place.

In contrast, the 2018 ranking shows strong progress for leading European fast fashion brands such as H&M which overtook Sears this year to garner 39th place, and Inditex, which is now hot on Macy’s heels in 38th spot. Bucking the trend in the US are Nordstrom, which managed to notch up three spots to 65th place – overtaking Marks & Spencer– and L Brands, which moves 2 notches up from 78th place in 2017 to 76th this year. Kohl’s also managed to hold onto its 52nd place from 2017 for another year.

The biggest winner of 2018’s is Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay, which zoomed up from 114th place last year to 87th. Nike was also one of the achievers rising up 14 places to 109th position. Indeed, the ranking showed generally positive progress for sportswear brands, with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Foot Locker and Decathlon all moving up.

Online retailers also continued to perform well: Amazon consolidated its place in the top ten, this year, by jumping four places to the number six spot, while China’s climbed eight places to 28th position. Deloitte’s report confirms some of the most noticeable retail movements that have been shaking up the sector recently. As reflected by the ranking, faced with ruthless opposition from online retailers, malls, department stores and other traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are under increasing pressure to diversify their offer and tap into the new experiential retail trend to tempt customers in store. Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing ranking is compiled using retail sales data from 2016.