Top 10 biggest supermarket chains in Europe

- Top 10 - Sep 08, 2017

Which food retailers make the biggest mark across Europe? Here are 10 of the most familiar chains on the continent.

To read the September issue of our Business Review Europe magazine, click here.

10. E. Leclerc
E. Leclerc – known colloquially as Leclerc – is an operator of hypermarkets based in France. The company has revenues of €47.3bn, 94,000 employees and more than 600 stores around the world.

The bulk of Leclerc stores – a mix of independent stores and hypermarkets – are scattered throughout France. Other locations include Portugal, Spain, Poland and Slovenia. 

9. Edeka Group
Based in Hamburg, Germany with a workforce of 250,000 Edeka Group operates about 4,100 stores that range in size from hypermarkets to neighbourhood corner shops.

The company boasts revenues of about €51bn and operates throughout Germany with a significant presence in Denmark. 

8. Group Auchan SA
Founded in 1961 and boasting a revenue of €51bn, Group Auchan SA operates in 13 European and Asian countries around the globe.

More than 300,000 employees work in the retail giant’s 3,051 stores. Achan is headquartered in Croix, France and operates stores in China, Portugal, Hungary, Luxembourg, Italy, Ukraine, Taiwan, India, Poland, Russia, Romania and Taiwan. 

7. REWE Group
As the REWE Group, the retailer operates more than 15,000 stores around the world. The supermarket chain has nearly 330,000 employees and operates in dozens of countries across Europe under different names.

These include 3,300 REWE stores in Germany, 1,000 BILLA stores in Austria and 3,000 Penny stores scattered throughout Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany. Collectively, the REWE Group posted revenues of €51.1bn. 

6. Ahold Delhaize
Ahold Delhaize is a 2016 merger between Koninklijke Ahold N.V. and Delhaize Group. The group operates 6,500 stores selling 21 local brands and employing more than 375,000 people in 11 countries. Based in Zaandam, Netherlands, Ahold Delhaize has an active presence in Romania, Germany, Serbia, Greece, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and the United States. It reported €62bn in revenue. 

5. Aldi
German-based Aldi and its subsidiary, Trader Joe’s, operates more than 10,000 stores around the world. This grocery retailer has two headquarters in Germany with geographical oversight for certain areas the sole responsibility of each.

Essen is the headquarters of Aldi Nord with its 35 regional companies that operate individual stores in northern, eastern and western Germany as well as France, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the Iberian Peninsula.

Headquartered in Mülheim, Aldi Süd oversees operations via its 32 companies for stores in Australia, Great Britain, Switzerland, Slovenia, Ireland, Austria and Hungary as well as in southern and western Germany. The retailer boasts a revenue of around €63bn. 

4. Metro Group
Metro Group is one of the most diversified companies on this list. With a revenue of nearly €74bn, Germany-based Metro operates hypermarkets, warehouse clubs and superstores with the professional customer in mind. While most of the company’s core customer base include caterers, hotels, restaurants and the like.

The company also operates nearly 1,000 electronics stores for consumers across the globe and employs about 100,000 people at its nearly 1,500 locations in Europe, Asia and Africa. 

3. Lidl
A discount grocery store based in Germany, Lidl serves 20 countries in Europe with more than 10,000 stores. France and Germany boast the most Lidl locations with 1,500 and 3,200 respectively. The retailer employs more than 315,000 people worldwide and posts revenues of €74.65bn.

Lidl – which is known for its no-frills approach that provides consumers with cartons of groceries with the manufacturer's prices prominently displayed – recently expanded to south eastern United States with notification regarding Australian markets expected to be unveiled in 2017. 

2. Carrefour
Carrefour boasts nearly 12,000 locations throughout the world with its primary focus being the European market. With more than 1,460 hypermarkets that sell a variety of products in addition to groceries, Carrefour operates in diverse countries worldwide such as Armenia, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, Brazil, Jordan and China.

Headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Carrefour posted a revenue of nearly €86 billion. 

1. Tesco PLC
Tesco operates more than 6,550 supermarkets, superstores and hypermarkets throughout Europe. From its headquarters in Hertfordshire, England, Tesco oversees more than 476,000 employees at stores in 12 countries.

It generates revenues of more than €86bn, earning it the rank of the world’s ninth largest retailer. In addition to being the UK’s grocery leader with nearly a third of the market, Tesco also operates in Thailand, Ireland and Hungary.

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