Walmart once again held on to its top retailer ranking from Kantar for the 27th year. The 2023 Kantar U.S. PoweRanking report called out Walmart ahead of Kroger, Target, Costco and Amazon for having a “head start” toward being a true omnichannel retailer.
“It is a distinguished achievement for brands to be included in the top ten,” said Jeffrey Maloy, Kantar senior vice president. “For retailers, Walmart continues to set the standard of service to their shoppers amongst the general retailer ecosystem. PepsiCo, CocaCola and P&G also continue their leadership taking the top three manufacturers/suppliers again this year.”
Kantar PoweRanking is an industry benchmark report that identifies best-in-class retailers and manufacturers as ranked by their trading partners. Chosen by the industry, brands were ranked on their ability to grow profitability, exemplify innovative marketing, and supply chain management, engage shopper marketing programs and best use of digital platforms. Retailers and suppliers were also ranked on their sustainability initiatives.
Value remains top of mind for shoppers, leading suppliers and retailers to mirror those concerns going into 2024, according to the report. Kantar said collaboration between retailers and manufacturers/suppliers likely will focus on the cost-focused shoppers vs quality-focused shoppers. Retailers who cater to more budget-conscious shoppers are prioritizing partnering with suppliers who ensure core items are in stock and priced strategically, and who effectively communicate their price-value message to shoppers.
Walmart has used its size and scale to keep prices lower with more rollbacks among national brands and its private labels. The Bentonville-based retailer also has gained market share in its vast consumables business, which has given it an advantage over Target, which has more discretionary merchandise that has reduced revenue and earnings through much of this year.
”Walmart has a significant head start on other retailers in becoming a true omnichannel retailer, and this puts them in a great position to remain on top for years to come. Their strong value proposition to shoppers is timeliness, and their supply chain efficiencies will help them remain advantaged vs. their competition,” the report noted.
Kantar said Kroger has powered into the No. 2 position this year, pushing Target to No. 3. Kroger was recognized for its best-in-class data utilization.
“Kroger is reliable and open to opportunities to change how they leverage supply chain efficiencies without it being a giant cost negotiation with the merchandising team. It’s truly all about efficiencies,” the report noted.
Costco’s trusted high-quality experience won kudos and moved it up to the No. 4 spot displacing Amazon which fell to No. 5.
“Amazon integrates technology into its physical stores better than any other retailer. In addition to its Just Walk Out technology and expansive digital signage, Amazon is continuously evolving the look and feel of its Go and Fresh stores to improve performance,” the report said.
Publix captured the No.7 spot from Meijer, which moved down to No. 8. There were 74 retailers evaluated in this year’s Kantar report. At No. 9 Dollar General and Wegman’s rounded out the top 10 list for retailers this year.
“Inflation-fueled revenue growth has been great for retailers’ top lines, but the focus on dollar growth has masked the fact that store traffic and trips have eroded,” said Rohan Mazumdar, Kantar vice president. “While the precise direction of inflation and consumer spending is unclear for the next 12-18 months, it is evident that US shoppers across socioeconomic groups will continue to be mindful of how they can get the most for their money. The open question is how manufacturers and retailers will respond to this environment, but we expect both to refocus on growing units and trips.”