Companies in this industry operate physical retail establishments that sell a wide variety of merchandise, including apparel, groceries, household furnishings, and personal care products. Major companies include Kmart, Target, and Wal-Mart (all based in the US), as well as Carrefour and Groupe Auchan (France), Daiso Japan, Lojas Americanas (Brazil), and METRO AG (Germany).
Population growth and consumer spending drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient supply chain management, effective merchandising, and competitive pricing. Large companies enjoy advantages in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. The US industry is highly concentrated: the eight largest companies account for nearly 100% of industry revenue.
Products, Ops & Technology
Major products sold include apparel (about 25% of sales); personal care products (15%); and groceries (10%). Apparel includes women's, men's, and children's. Personal care includes cosmetics and health and beauty products. Other products may include kitchenware and home furnishings and decor; video and audio equipment (TVs, DVD players, stereo systems); seasonal offerings; pet supplies; and sporting goods. Discount department stores may have in-store pharmacies, photo processing services, or restaurants.