Top 5 Biggest Retailers In South Africa (2023)


Available data show that the retail industry is a big industry. For example, according to the FY 2017 Global Powers retailing based on the 250 largest retailers around the world, it was discovered that the top 250 retailing outfits, had aggregate revenue of US$4.53 trillion and a composite year-over-year retail revenue growth of 5.7%.

In the world, the top retailing outlets are based in the USA. There are seven US retailers in the top ten retailers in the world, and they account for 31.6 per cent of the revenue generated in the market. In Africa, It is a fact that the South African retailing industry is the biggest and one of the biggest in the world.

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The FY 2017 top 250 retailing outlet shows that there are four South African retail outlets and according to the ranking the minimum revenue required to be among the top 250 is US$3.7 billion.

Below are the top five retailers in South Africa:


Ranked as the 86th biggest retailer in the world, Shoprite is currently operating in 15 countries, with retail revenue of $11,294 million dollars and a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.4% between 2012 and 2017 according to FY 2017 Global Powers of Retailing Top 250.

Shoprite has an employee base of over 147,000 people and more than 2934 retail outlets. Shoprite is a public company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with secondary listings on both the Namibian and Zambian stock exchanges. Shoprite was established in 1979 and it’s headquartered is in Brackenfell, Cape Town.

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The Dutch multinational franchise has its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands and it is ranked as the 140th biggest retailer according to FY 2017 Global Powers of Retailing Top 250.

The ranking showed that SPAR had a 17.4% CAGR between 2012 and 2017, with retail revenue of $7,252 million. SPAR group was founded in 1932, and currently, have an employee base of 350,000 people. The retail outlet operates in over 45 countries and consists of more than 13,112 stores.


pick n pay

Founded in 1967 by Jack Goldin (currently owned by the Ackerman Family), Pick n Pay limited currently operates in 7 countries and has a CAGR of 6.6% between 2012 and 2017.

This retail outlet has its headquarters in Kenilworth, Cape Town, with retail revenue of $6225 million according to the FY2017 Global Powers of Retailing Top 250. Pick n pay stores limited has an employee base of 80,000 according to and has over 1600 retail outlets.



Ranked as the 179th retailer in the world according to the FY 2017 Global Powers of Retailing Top 250, Woolworths was founded in 1931 and its headquarters is in Longmarket street Cape Town.

The company has an employee base of 40000 people and operates in 14 countries. The company’s revenue according to FY 2017 stood at $5332 million and it has a CAGR of 14.3% between 2012 and 2017.


Massmart (Walmart)

Massmart started in 1990 and was founded by mark Lamberti. In 2011, Walmart bought 51 per cent of the company’s stock. It has an employee base of more than 45,000 and has over 442 retail outlets.

As of 2016, the company revenue according to stood at R91.564 billion. Massmart also has outlets in Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Botswana, to mention a few.


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