With enormous distribution networks and numerous retail locations all around the world, retail giants like Wal-Mart have dominated the ranks of world’s largest publicly trade retailers. But for the first time ever, the award of world’s largest retailer this year goes to not a brick-and-mortar retailer, but a eCommerce business.
Alibaba To Become World’s Largest Retailer
Last month, Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd announced that it has officially become the world’s largest retail platform, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing released on Tuesday.
Alibaba has yet to reveal the financial results for the last quarter of its fiscal year ending on March 31, but the statement clearly demonstrates that the company has outpaced Walmart that posted revenues of $482.1 billion for its fiscal year ending January 31.
In the fortnight before the filing, Alibaba mentioned that it had reached 3 trillion yuan (about $476 billion) in Gross Market Value (GMV).
The Power of eCommerce in China
The record-breaking GMV shows that the world’s largest retail marketplace has shifted from offline to online. “We used 13 years to demonstrate the power of a different business model compared with brick-and-mortar retailers,” the statement said.
“In 2024, we want to be a business platform serving 2 billion consumers and tens of millions of enterprises at home and abroad,” said Zhang Yong, chief executive officer of Alibaba.
How China Compares eCommerce sales with the U.S
Since eCommerce, especially mobile commerce is booming in China, more eCommerce retailers like Alibaba will stand out and make the list. In a recent study, research firm eMarketer forecasted that the Chinese eCommerce industry should hit the $1 trillion annual revenue mark by 2018. That accounts for almost half of the global e-commerce industry and is as much as the US, UK, Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, Canada, Russia and Brazil markets combined.
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