Professional services group Deloitte has published its annual Global Powers of Retail report for 2020, ranking the 250 biggest retail groups across the world – including four from South Africa.

The ranking is based on publicly available data for FY2018, covering fiscal years ended through June 2019. Deloitte analyses a company’s performance across geographies, sectors, and channels.

The 2020 report marks the return of multinational group, Steinhoff into the rankings, after the group was dropped from the report in 2019 following its accounting fraud scandal that emerged in 2017/18, and the group’s subsequent failure to produce full year results.

Despite making a net loss of over $1.4 billion in FY 2018, Steinhoff’s $15.14 billion in retail sales in the year make it largest retailing group in South Africa by some margin, with Shoprite following with $10.59 billion in retail revenue.

Overall, Steinhoff ranks 64th in the list, followed by Shoprite (100th), the Spar Group (132nd), Pick n Pay (162nd) and Woolworths (205th).

All South Africa’s retailers dropped down the rankings, reflecting the tight trading conditions they face in South Africa, with spending under pressure amid low consumer confidence, creeping economic growth, and rising prices.

“Steinhoff and Shoprite were the major revenue contributors in the Middle East/Africa region in FY2018. However, with revenue for Steinhoff falling by more than 25%, and despite 3.6% growth for Shoprite, companies in the region recorded a decline in revenue of 0.4%, as compared to 9.8% growth in FY2017,” Deloitte said.

“The fall in revenue for Steinhoff was attributable largely to financial restructuring measures by the company, with the sale of its e-commerce business, Showroomprivé, through its subsidiary Conforama and Austrian furniture retailer Rudolf Leiner, popularly known as Kika/Leiner, to Rene Benko’s Signa Holding.

However, five retailers – including The Spar Group, Steinhoff, and Woolworths Holdings – were among the 50 fastest growing Top 250 retailers in FY2018, Deloitte noted.

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