Woolies, Coles in global top 20

Nation's largest two retailers again find spots in top 20 list worldwide.

Australia's two biggest supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles continue to punch above their weight, cementing their place among the world's top 20 retailers.

Woolworths (WOW) jumped two spots to 15th place while Coles' parent company Wesfarmers (WES) fell one place to 19th in a global ranking of the 250 biggest retailers by revenue.

This year's Deloitte Global Powers of retailing report found Australian consumers were fairly upbeat in the face of a difficult start overseas in the last fiscal year.

"Our home grown retailers Woolworths and Wesfarmers continue to maintain their impressive position in the top 20 global retailing powers," Deloitte Australia Partner David White said.

Overseas retailers were still eager to target Australia to exploit relatively strong consumer spending, he said.

"The relative strength of the Australian economy has persisted," Mr White said.

Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain, beat global online retailer Amazon in terms of revenue, while Wesfarmers was ranked ahead of US supermarket giant Safeway, Deloitte said.

The report again ranked US behemoth Wal-Mart as the largest retailer in the world followed by UK supermarket operator Tesco and US wholesale group Costco which now has operations in Australia.

Tesco nudged out fourth-placed French supermarket chain Carrefour for second place.

All of the other companies in the top 20 come from highly populated countries with large consumer bases such as the United States, Germany, UK, Japan and France.

The report found more than half of domestic retailers predict consumer confidence will increase in 2014.

Mr White said global firms Next and River Island who have been selling to Australia through their online stores were rumoured to open physical outlets after global fashion giants Uniqlo and H&M decided to open stores in Melbourne.

Deloitte found the fastest growing company was Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo Groep which recorded a 115 per cent jump in revenue growth.

Meanwhile, Amazon doubled its revenue growth to cement itself as the largest online company, followed by Apple and Wal-Mart.

80% of the top 250 retailers posted an increase in retail with a total revenue of $4.3 trillion in 2012.

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