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List of largest retailers has stalwarts, surprises

Publix leads the way among Florida's largest retailers.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. November 9, 2018
Lakeland-based Publix is ranked No. 15 on Chain Store Age magazine’s ranking of the largest retailers by revenue.
Lakeland-based Publix is ranked No. 15 on Chain Store Age magazine’s ranking of the largest retailers by revenue.
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With $34.6  billion in annual revenue, Lakeland-based grocery giant Publix isn’t just big for the region. 

It’s also a goliath among retailers nationwide.

At No. 15 on Chain Store Age magazine’s new ranking of the largest retailers by revenue, Publix is nestled between two disparate companies: TJX Cos., the Framingham, Mass.-based retailer behind TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and other chains, is No. 14, at $35.8 billion in 2017 revenue, while tech icon Apple, at $31 billion, is No. 16.

Two other Florida companies made the Chain Store Age top 100. Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Winn-Dixie, BI-LO and other grocery chains, is No. 42, with $11.5 billion in 2017 revenue. And with $10.42 billion in 2017 revenue, Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, is No. 46.

Other companies on the list can specifically credit Florida for a chunk of sales. Online and TV shopping company QVC, for example, No. 56 with $8.7 billion in 2017 revenue, included sales from HSN, the former St. Petersburg-based competitor QVC acquired in July 2017. HSN posted $3.5 billion in revenue in 2016 on its own. And Wawa, at No. 47, with $10 billion in revenue — like QVC, Wawa is based in suburban Philadelphia — counts Florida as one of its biggest expansion states.

Other nuggets from the list include:

• The No. 1 company, Walmart, at $500.3 billion in sales, towers even over the No. 2 retailer, Amazon, which posted $177 billion in 2017 revenue, the report shows;

• Including Amazon’s PillPack, eight of the top 10 companies have a pharmacy unit or are a pharmacy-centric chain; the only two that don’t in the top 10 are Home Depot and Lowe’s.

• Sales isn’t everything, with proof coming at No. 27, Sears, where the $16.7 billion in revenue couldn’t compensate for a slew of other business model issues. (Sears filed for bankruptcy Oct. 15.)





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