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Infographic: The Numbers Behind Black Friday

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For American retailers, Christmas comes a month earlier.

Starting in late-November, the holiday shopping season officially kicks into high gear – and it’s the beginning of a month-long stretch that can either make or break retailers.

Black Friday is the shotgun start for this mad scramble of consumerism. And whether you are waiting in line to get a Turbo-Man doll, or you are constantly refreshing your browser window for the latest deal on Amazon, it’s a spectacle all the same.

Black Friday Numbers

Today’s infographic comes to us from AppInstitute, and it breaks down the numbers behind Black Friday, the centerpiece of the shopping extravaganza for retailers in the United States.

The Numbers Behind Black Friday

In totality, the holiday season generated $688 billion of revenue for retailers in the United States in 2017 – and $108.2 billion of this came from online purchases, which are seeing double-digit growth each year.

Impressively, about 15% of all online holiday revenue comes in the four-day span between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The two days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) are the two highest volume online shopping days of the year.

Shopping Season Retail Breakdowns

Source: Adobe

Online or Offline

Do shoppers take advantage of deals at home or in store?

It appears to be a mix of both, according to comprehensive data from Adobe for the 2017 shopping season:

  • 16% shopped entirely in stores
  • 29% shopped mostly in stores, and a little online
  • 26% shopped equally in stores and online
  • 20% shopped mostly online, and a little in stores
  • 9% shopped entirely online

This means for most people, shopping is an omni-channel experience – they are comparing options in their heads between online (desktop, mobile) and offline channels.

An Even Bigger Day For Online Sales

While Black Friday is an impressive kickoff day for online and offline sales, there is an even bigger one-day online equivalent in China.

On Black Friday, online sales total about $5 billion – this is just a drop in the bucket compared to Alibaba’s Single’s Day, which sold $30.8 billion in a 24-hour period on November 11, 2018.

On Single’s Day in 2018, it took fewer than 90 seconds to hit $1 billion in online sales.

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Retail

The World’s Top Retail Companies, by Domestic Revenue

As price pressures and e-commerce reshape shopping behaviors, we show the top retail companies by domestic revenue around the world.

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This circle graphic shows the world's top retail companies by domestic revenue.

The World’s Top Retail Companies, by Domestic Revenue

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The retail sector plays a vital role in powering economies, contributing $5.3 trillion annually to America’s GDP alone.

Moreover, the industry is America’s biggest private-sector employer, responsible for one of every four jobs, or 55 million employees. Yet in today’s challenging consumer environment, retailers are facing higher e-commerce penetration and inflationary pressures—across an industry notoriously known for razor-thin margins.

This graphic shows the world’s top retail companies by domestic revenue, based on data from the National Retail Federation.

Methodology

To be included in the rankings, companies must engage in a goods-for-consumer resale business accessible to the public and have direct selling operations in a minimum of three countries.

The rankings include both publicly and private companies, and are based on the most recent 52-week period analyzed by the National Retail Federation between January and March 2024. All revenue figures were converted to U.S. dollars.

Ranked: The Top 10 Global Retailers by Domestic Sales

Here are the leading retailers worldwide based on domestic sales as of 2023:

RankingRetailerDomestic Retail Revenue
(USD)
Share of Total Retail RevenueHeadquarters
1Walmart$532.3B85%🇺🇸 U.S.
2Amazon.com$250.0B70%🇺🇸 U.S.
3Costco$175.4B75%🇺🇸 U.S.
4The Home Depot$142.0B94%🇺🇸 U.S.
5Walgreens Boots Alliance$105.1B89%🇺🇸 U.S.
6Alibaba$91.5B97%🇨🇳 China
7Apple$70.9B87%🇺🇸 U.S.
8Aeon$64.3B93%🇯🇵 Japan
9Schwarz Group$56.5B32%🇩🇪 Germany
10Rewe$55.5B75%🇩🇪 Germany

Walmart towers ahead as the world’s largest retailer with $532 billion in domestic revenue—more than Amazon.com and Costco combined.

Known for its everyday low prices, Walmart achieves a competitive advantage through pricing goods approximately 25% cheaper than traditional retail competitors. Overall, groceries make up more than half of total sales. While its main customer base is often low and middle-income shoppers, the retail giant is seeing a surge in sales from higher-income customers as shoppers seek out lower grocery prices.

E-commerce giant, Amazon, is the second-biggest retailer globally, commanding nearly 40% of online retail sales in America. Since 2019, the number of Amazon employees has grown from 800,000 to over 1.5 million in 2023.

While the company has tried to introduce online grocery platforms to the market, it has largely fallen flat given its clunky system in a highly competitive market.

Like Amazon, China’s e-commerce juggernaut, Alibaba, stands as a leading global retailer. Overall, 97% of revenues were generated domestically through online marketplaces Taobao and Tmall. In recent years, the company has focused on international expansion, delivering products to 11 markets including America, in just five days.

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