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The top five retailers in Kantar’s US PoweRanking report are…

Walmart was number one among retailers in Kantar’s annual 2021 U.S. PoweRanking report.

For the 25th year running, manufacturers ranked Walmart as the top retail performer.

Walmart was number one among retailers in Kantar’s annual 2021 US PoweRanking report.  The discounter has held the top spot every year since the report was first published in 1997, a testament to its strength, scale and focus, according to Kantar.

Target ranked second, moving up one spot from 2020, on the basis of momentum with its customers, store environment, enhancement of omni-commerce options and relationships with its manufacturing partners.  Kroger, Amazon and Costco rounded out the top five.  (PepsiCo topped the rankings of best-in-class manufacturers in the report for the sixth consecutive year.)

The PoweRanking is based on customized questionnaires developed for retailer and wholesaler respondents in food, drug, mass merchandise, dollar, convenience, specialty, and club channels, as well as for manufacturers in food, household products, general merchandise and health and beauty care. Manufacturers were asked to rank retailers on strategic metrics that included clearest company strategy, best store branding to shoppers and projected power retailers in 15 years. They also ranked the retailers on business fundamentals that included best retailers to do business with, best supply chain management, bust use of digital platforms and more. Best in sustainability was also a criterion.

The 25th Anniversary PoweRanking report, “A Generation Of Transformation,” details a U.S. retail industry that is moving forward while still managing the effects of the pandemic. The analysis found that the shared adversity of battling through COVID disruptions has strengthened the resolve of the industry and instilled confidence in its ability to overcome obstacles. Both retailers and manufacturers remain highly optimistic about prospects for the future.

The report identified five themes emerging from 2021:

  • Weariness from the “18-month year” brought about by COVID;
  • Enduring supply chain challenges;
  • The difficulty of navigating macroeconomic forces around labor and inflation;
  • The divergent shopper puzzle as consumers react to limited product availability from supply constraints; and
  • The emerging post-COVID retailer-manufacturer partnership and the struggle to find common direction.

“Over the 25 years we have been conducting the PoweRanking analysis, we’ve learned that while leadership metrics endure over time, each year has its own lessons to teach,” said Patrick Fellin, partner, head of go-to-market strategy, Kantar North America. “Certainly, 2021 was unique unto itself, coming out of an unprecedented crisis that produced a more demanding and complex shopper base and resulting in a greater need for agility and innovation. Both retailers and manufacturers have responded and what is most striking in this year’s report is how this has manifested into great optimism and excitement for the future.”

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