Companies in this sector sell a wide range of products to consumers and businesses, from food and apparel to hardware, household goods, and office supplies. Major companies include Costco, Kroger, and Wal-Mart (all based in the US), as well as Aldi (Germany), Carrefour (France), Schwarz (Germany) and Tesco (UK).
Personal income, consumer confidence, and interest rates drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient supply chain management and effective merchandising and marketing. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by selling unique merchandise, providing superior customer service, offering a distinctive shopping experience, or serving a local market. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for about 35% of sales.
Products, Ops & Technology
Major components of the retail sector include sellers of motor vehicles (15% of overall retail sales), food and beverages (15%), drugs and cosmetics (11%), automotive fuels (11%), and women's apparel (4%).