Aside from your home, workplace, and maybe your car, there is likely no place you spend more time in than in your local supermarket. The supermarket chain is where you get the things you need for everyday life after all. The establishment of supermarkets represents one of the major innovations of the last century and is one of the hallmarks of modern life. Before supermarkets became a thing, people had to buy their groceries at classic markets from different sellers with different supplies. Thanks to supermarkets, you can now buy all your groceries in one single place.
it is, therefore, no surprise that supermarket chains are hugely popular and are an essential feature of every city, town, or even rural area. The density of these supermarkets has also significantly increased over the years. This is mostly thanks to the supermarket chains that now dominate the global retail business. Supermarket chains belong to a single company that operates multiple supermarkets across different cities, countries, or even continents.
Within the general retail industry, supermarkets represent medium-sized stores that are primarily focused on offering their customers all types of food items with usually a huge variety of different brands and subtypes for each type of food. They are larger in size, product range, and product assortment than convenience stores (also known as corner shops), but smaller than so-called hypermarkets which tend to also offer a huge variety of non-food items alongside groceries.
The following list ranks the 10 biggest supermarket chains in the world by the number of store locations each of these supermarket chains operates.
Note: Only real supermarkets are counted for the ranking. Convenience stores, hypermarkets, specialty stores, online stores, and other types of retail businesses are not part of the ranking.
Check out the Top 10 rankings for other store types right here:
The 10 Biggest Supermarket Chains in the World
Lidl cuts out the middleman, which eliminates any additional costs from a supplier. The company also has greater control over manufacturing costs and can set its own prices. In turn, this means that products can be sold for higher margins than national brands, as the initial costs are much lower.
2. Aldi Sud
Aldi is the common company brand name of two German multinational family-owned discount supermarket chains operating over 10,000 stores in 20 countries. The chain was founded by brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1946 when they took over their mother’s store in Essen.
3. Aldi Nord
In Germany, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd have been financially and legally separate since 1966, although both divisions’ names may appear as if they were single.
4. Penny Market
Penny or internationally Penny Market is a discount supermarket chain based in Germany, which operates 3,550 stores. The market was founded by Leibbrand Gruppe in 1973; since 1989, it has been fully owned by the Rewe Group. In France, the chain was bought in 2005 by the Ed brand of the Carrefour group.
5. Carrefour Market
Carrefour is a French multinational retail and wholesaling corporation headquartered in Massy, France. The eighth-largest retailer in the world by revenue, it operates a chain of hypermarkets, groceries stores and convenience stores, which as of January 2021, comprises its 12,225 stores in over 30 countries.
Biedronka is a chain of supermarkets. It is the largest chain of discount shops in Poland with 2,823 stores as of 2017 and 67,000 employees. It is owned by the Portuguese group Jerónimo Martins. The name “Biedronka” means “ladybird”, and a cartoon ladybird is the company’s logo
The Kroger Company, or simply Kroger, is an American retail company that operates supermarkets and multi-department stores throughout the United States.
ÆON Co., Ltd., commonly written AEON Co., Ltd., is a Japanese multinational holding company of ÆON Group. It has its headquarters in Mihama-ku, Chiba, Chiba Prefecture. It operates all the AEON Retail Stores directly in Japan. Meanwhile, AEON CO. BHD operates all the AEON Retail Stores directly in Malaysia.
Mercadona is a Spanish supermarket chain. Mercadona has 1,636 stores in all the 17 Spanish regions, Ceuta, Melilla and in Portugal. Mercadona was ranked the 9th most reputable company in the world in 2009, by the Reputation Institute as listed in Forbes magazine.
Intermarché is the brand of a general commercial French supermarket, part of the large retail group Les Mousquetaires founded in 1969 under the name EX Offices, by Jean-Pierre Le Roch. EX Offices was renamed Intermarché in 1972.
The Top 10 Biggest Supermarket Chains in the World
(as of 2022)
Top 10 Biggest Supermarket Chains in the World:
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~11,200
2. ALDI SUD
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~7,200
3. ALDI NORD
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~5,300
4. PENNY MARKET
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~3,600
5. CARREFOUR MARKET
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~3,400
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~3,200
7. KROGER Number of chain stores worldwide: ~2,800
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~2,200
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~1,700
Number of chain stores worldwide: ~1,500
The top 10 biggest supermarket chains in the world by number of chain store locations worldwide. Only supermarkets are counted here. Other forms of retail stores (hypermarkets, convenience stores, online stores, drug stores, etc.) are disregarded here.