With store closure news popping up every so often, it’s great to learn about retail successes. The Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity (CSCA) conducted a study on the top 100 retail conglomerates in Canada. The survey utilized year-end fiscal year retail sales to find out which company has the most influence and success with shoppers.


These are the top 5 retail conglomerates.




1. Weston Group


If you live in Canada, you’ve definitely heard this name before. The conglomerate owns establishments that many Canadians visit every day. Founded in 1882, they are Canada’s largest food and drug retail business. George Weston Limited (“Weston”) controls Loblaw Companies Ltd. The company’s roster of 35 retailers includes Shoppers Drug Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, and No Frills.


Weston is Canada’s largest private sector employer with over 200,000 employees. They are also one of Canada’s leading bakers and controls one of Canada’s largest REITs, Choice Properties REIT. In 2017, Weston group was estimated to bring in over $46.2 billion in retail sales and tops the retailer list as #1.


2. Walmart Stores Inc.

Walmart sits at number 2 in top 100 retail conglomerates. Surely no one doubts that Walmart would make the list. Walmart Canada is the Canadian division of Walmart, which is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario. It was founded only 25 years ago on March 17, 1994, with the purchase of the Woolco Canada chain.


This big box store has over 400 locations throughout Canada including Giant Tiger, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, and Dollarama they were estimated to make just over $32.4 billion USD in retail sales at the end of 2017. All of this money was made just between their two chains, Walmart and Walmart Superstores.


3. Costco Wholesale Corp.


Costco is another frequently visited store. According to CSCA, although Costco only has 94 locations – compared to Weston Group’s 2797 locations and Walmart Stores Inc.’s 410 locations – Costco was able to bring down the big bucks. Their retail sales reached a whopping $24.6 billion by the end of 2017 with less than 100 retail locations.


4. Empire Company Limited

Empire retail sales were very close to Costco. Their most recognizable retailers include conglomerates like Safeway Foods, Sobeys, and IGA. Empire Company Limited pulled in an estimated $24.2 billion USD at the end of the fiscal year.


5. Metro Inc.

Metro Inc. is another grocery conglomerate that unsurprisingly tops the list of Canada’s top 10 retailers. The Metro Inc. umbrella includes retail stores like Metro, Food Basics, and Metro PLUS. These brands have a combined 866 Canadian stores, which helped the company earn $13.1 billion in retail sales. This earnings is a big difference from the top four companies on the list; however consistent with the top 5 retailers they all have some footprint in groceries.




After reviewing the top 5 retailers, data shows that grocery food remains at the top of the retail chain. The next five retailers include pharmacies, home goods, and auto supply companies. At #6- McKesson Corp. (chains: Rexall, IDA Pharmacy, Uniprix, plus 8 others), at #7- Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. (chains: Canadian Tire, Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Sport Chek), #8- Lowe’s Companies Inc. (chains: Lowes and Rona), #9- The Home Depot Inc. and #10- Home Hardware Stores Ltd. (chains: Home Hardware and Home Building Centre).


The CSCA report provides valuable insight on the top tier retailers in Canada. These companies have significant influence in the retail economy in Canada. To learn more about the retail opportunities available in Canada, contact ReDev today.

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