A recent report on the ABC showed that the worlds top retailers have managed to prosper through the economic downturn despite a decline in share markets and the actual future of Bricks'n'Mortar stores being challenged.
US giant Wal-Mart remains the worlds largest retailer with France's Carrefour coming a rather distant second.
Deloittes, who conducted the study, suggested that the ability of larger retailers to move into growth markets made them stronger than their smaller rivals. That trend is relevant for Australia as more overseas retailing giants move to our shores.
Interestingly, Australia's two supermarket giants, Coles and Woolworths, made the top 20 global retailers list, despite relying almost entirely on a relatively small domestic market. Out of the top 20 firms, 13 relied on income from at least 5 countries.
Growth prospects were identified in Asia with 4 of the 50 fastest growing firms being Chinese.
The web was seen as a significant contributor to physical sales although, interestingly, the worlds biggest online store, Amazon, only ranked 23rd in the amount of revenue it generated and only 4 of the top 250 stores were non-store retailers.
The point was made that today's consumers have much more information at their disposal and retailers need to be sure that their customers are happy with the products and the price.