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Top 10 Supermarket Retail Chains in Europe

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Top 10 Supermarket Retail Chains in Europe

While the past year has presented plenty of challenges for the European grocery retail sector, the market continues to grow. In 2022, the combined revenue of major European food retailers reached approximately €3.0 trillion, and there were around 300,000 food retail outlets across the continent, according to Retail-Index.

As the year drew to a close, there were signs that the sector is returning to some degree of normality, after a prolonged period of high inflation. In September 2023, the EU retail trade experienced a third consecutive month of decline, Eurostat data showed, although it remained higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The sector has shown limited momentum over an extended period, possibly due to the lasting impact of elevated inflation in the EU. On a positive note, October 2023, overall inflation decreased further across the bloc, reaching its lowest point in two years.

According to EuroCommerce, which represents the retail and wholesale sectors in Europe, more can be done to accelerate the sector's competitiveness, particularly when it comes to investment in green, digital and skills transformation over the coming years.

Christel Delberghe, the director general of EuroCommerce, has emphasised the pressing need for a framework that enables businesses to make strategic investments in the transformation of the retail sector, noting recently that the Single Market should be a "foundation for our sector’s competitiveness in a rapidly evolving global landscape".

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Elsewhere, Europe's e-commerce sector is showing continued acceleration, despite experiencing a post-COVID slump as shoppers returned to physical stores. European e-commerce B2C turnover reached €899 billion in 2021 – up from €849 billion the previous year – experiencing a year-on-year growth rate of 6%.

Here's an overview of the top ten supermarket retail chains in Europe, according to their most recently-available full-year turnover. All data is supplied by Retail-Index.

***EXCLUSIVE OFFER*** Gain access to Retail-Index.com with a limited discount of 10% – use the code ESM10 in the remarks section on the Price & Order form.

1. Schwarz Group (Germany)
Turnover: €125.3 billion (2021)

The Schwarz Group, headquartered in Germany, is the largest supermarket retail chain in Europe, with a turnover of €125.3 billion in 2021. It operates through two main banners, Lidl and Kaufland, which boast more than 12,600 stores across Europe between them.

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Read More: Lidl And Kaufland Parent Schwarz Group Announces Management Changes

2. Aldi Nord and Süd (Germany)
Turnover: €106.3 billion (2021)

With a turnover of €106.3 billion in 2021, Aldi is another German-based supermarket retail chain that has made a significant impact across Europe. The company operates under two separate divisions, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, which between them boast more than 8,800 stores.

As well as Germany, which is split between the two brands, Aldi Nord operates in Denmark, France, the Benelux countries, Portugal, Spain and Poland, while Aldi Süd operates in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Slovenia – as well as the United States (where it recently announced a major expansion), China and Australia.

Read More: Aldi Nord Board Of Directors Convenes For Inaugural Meeting

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3. REWE Group (Germany)
Turnover: €63.7 billion (2021)

REWE is a German supermarket retail group with a diverse portfolio of store formats, including REWE supermarkets, Penny discount stores and toom Baumarkt DIY stores.

The group operates more than 8,300 outlets, with its network incorporating Germany, Austria, Italy and many central and Eastern European markets.

Read More: REWE Group To Raise Wages, Extend Inflation Compensation Discount

4. Edeka (Germany)
Turnover: €61.0 billion (2021)

Edeka is a German retail cooperative that operates a network of independent supermarkets across Germany, including Edeka supermarkets and Netto Marken-Discount discount outlets. Edeka boasts a store network of some 3,600 outlets.

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5. Tesco (UK)
Turnover: €56.67 billion (2021)

Based in the United Kingdom and also with operations in Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia, Tesco reported a turnover of €56.67 billion in 2021, making it Europe's fifth-biggest supermarket group. Tesco operates a network of more than 4,600 stores.

Read More: Hungarian Market ‘Much More Challenging,’ Says Tesco CEO Ken Murphy

6. Carrefour (France)
Turnover: €55.37 billion (2021)

Carrefour, headquartered in France, is a multinational retailer operating in several European countries, as well as further afield.

The group, which reported a turnover of €55.37 billion in 2021, boasts a network of more than 11,000 stores, ranging from convenience outlets to large-scale hypermarkets.

Read More: French Consumers Massively Cutting Essential Purchases, Carrefour CEO Warns

7. E.Leclerc (France)
Turnover: €40.9 billion (2021)

E.Leclerc, a French-based cooperative, reported a turnover of €40.9 billion in 2021, placing it seventh in our list. The retailer, which is the longtime market leader in France, boasts around 1,500 stores.

Read More: E.Leclerc Continues To Lead The French Grocery Market

8. Les Mousquetaires (France)
Turnover: €40.0 billion (2021 – estimated)

Les Mousquetaires, which is best known for its Intermarché banner, is a French retail group that operates under a number of banners, including Netto discount stores and Bricomarché DIY stores.

Boasting an estimated turnover of €40 billion, and with more than 2,650 stores in its portfolio, the group also has a presence in Portugal, Poland and Belgium.

Read More: French Prices To Stay High Till March, Says Les Mousquetaires Grocery Chain

9. Sainsbury's
Turnover: €36.4 billion (2021)

Sainsbury's, based in the United Kingdom, reported a turnover of €36.4 billion in 2021, putting it in ninth position. The group, which operates a wide variety of retail formats, as well as e-commerce, has more than 2,200 stores in its portfolio.

Read More: Sainsbury’s Sees Biggest Jump In Market Share In A Decade: Kantar

10. Auchan
Turnover: €31.6 billion (2021)

Rounding off the list, French retailer Auchan is a multinational retail group with a presence in 13 countries and more than 4,000 outlets across its network. The retailer reported a turnover of €31.6 billion in 2021.

Read More: French Retailers Auchan, Intermarché In Buying Alliance Talks

About Retail-Index

Retail-Index is a specialist supplier of management information on consumer retail markets, provided by Veraart Research Group in the Netherlands. Its mission is to supply managers with up-to-date key information on retail markets in Europe and support them in their international expansion.

The company dates back to 1964, when it started as a market research and marketing consulting company for consumer products and services. In 1989, it started publishing written reports on various retail sectors in Europe. As of 2005, it publishes its information on retailers through the online database and curated datasheet exports available on www.retail-index.com. A team of researchers manages the data to reflect upon current developments in the markets, collected from an extensive number of sources.

© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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