Walmart Competitors

Walmart is the world’s largest physical retail brand based in the US. The company has enjoyed a dominant position in the retail sector since a long period driven by its EDLP pricing strategy and the vast assortment of products it offers. Walmart employs four store types to serve various customer segments. Sam’s Club is its inhouse premium brand, which is a separate business segment operating its own stores. Walmart has enjoyed strong popularity and brand loyalty, catering to a vast population segment in the US and several more markets, and selling a broad assortment of products at discounted prices.

Sam Walton
Sam Walton. Founder, Walmart Inc. (1918-1992)

Sam Walton opened the first Walmart in 1962 at the age of 44 in Rogers, Arkansas.

Quick Facts:
Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores and clubs in 19 countries and eCommerce websites. As of the end of FY2023, the retail brand employed approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide, with approximately 1.6 million associates in the U.S. The number of Walmart’s retail units in the US in January 2024 was 4,615 while Sam’s Club had 599 stores operational. Internationally, Walmart had 5,402 stores operational at the end of 2014 which makes its total number of stores operational worldwide 10,616. (Walmart Corporate)

Doug McMillon
Doug McMillon, President & CEO, Walmart Inc.

Doug McMillon was named president and CEO in 2014. From 2009 to 2014 he was president and CEO of Walmart International, and from 2005 to 2009 he remained president and CEO of Sam’s Club. He has worked at Walmart for more than 30 years serving in senior leadership roles in all of Walmart’s business segments.

Who are Walmart’s competitors?

walmart competitors

Walmart, as one of the world’s largest and most diversified retail corporations, has a broad range of competitors across various segments of its business. Competitors vary depending on the specific market and business segment, but here are some key competitors of Walmart in different areas:

# Top 15 Walmart Competitors
1 Amazon Amazon
2 Costco Costco
3 Target Target
4 Kroger Kroger
5 Aldi Aldi
6 Lidl Lidl
7 Alibaba Alibaba
8 Dollar General Dollar General
9 Family Dollar Family Dollar
10 Home Depot Home Depot
11 Lowe's Lowe’s
12 CVS Health CVS Health
13 Walgreens Walgreens Boots Alliance
14 carrefour Carrefour
15 Tesco Tesco

Retail and Supermarkets:

  • Amazon: The e-commerce giant competes with Walmart across various product categories and has a significant presence in online retail. Amazon is the undisputed leader in the ecommerce segment. Walmart is in direct competition with Amazon since it turned to omnichannel retail strategy. The physical retail giant has invested heavily in developing its own ecommerce capabilities and acquired India based online retail brand Flipkart. Over time, Walmart has also been successful at expanding its share of online retail in the United States, which now makes it one of Amazon’s leading competitors.
  • Costco: Known for its membership-based bulk purchasing model, Costco is a major competitor in the retail and warehouse club sector. Costco runs a large chain of membership based warehouses, which offer a large assortment of products to members at discounted prices. Like Walmart, Costco also has its own inhouse premium brand named Kirkland Signature. Costco is the second major physical retailer in the US after Walmart. However, compared to the other physical retailers in the US including Costco, Walmart has strengthened its ecommerce capabilities faster. Costco is still very popular among a particular consumer segment in the US mainly due to its focus on quality and customer service. Costco also enjoys strong brand loyalty.
  • Target Wholesale: Target is a large general merchandise retailer with a focus on offering a diverse range of products, including clothing and home goods. Like the other leading physical retailers, Target also focuses on serving its customers with discounted prices across a nice product range. Target sells an exclusive range of Target only products which are private labels of Target owned brands. It sells a vast range of products including food and general merchandise — from clothing to household goods to electronics and toys. Target customizes the assortment at each of its stores according to the needs and demands of the local customers.

Grocery and Supermarkets:

  • Kroger: As one of the largest grocery store chains in the U.S., Kroger competes with Walmart in the grocery segment. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is among the largest retail brands in the US based on annual net sales. At the end of January 2023, Kroger operated supermarkets under several local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Either directly or through its subsidiaries, Kroger operated 2,719 supermarkets, at the end of January 2023, of which 2,252 had pharmacies and 1,637 had fuel centers. At an average a Kroger supermarket has more than 13,500 private label items. Kroger also operates 33 food production plants which mainly include dairies and bakeries.
  • Aldi: Known for its focus on low prices and private-label products, Aldi is a competitor, particularly in the discount grocery space. It has 2,362 stores operational in the United States. The company offers a large range of products in the food and grocery category as well as household essentials and personal care products. It is known for providing high quality food products at the lowest prices.
  • Lidl: A global discount supermarket chain, Lidl competes with Walmart in various markets, offering low-cost groceries. Lidl also offers a large range of private label products. Around 80% of products sold by Lidl are private label. It keeps prices low low by keeping overhead to a minimum and eliminating any unnecessary costs. Lidl is a German brand that started its US operations in 2017. At Lidl stores, you can find local produce, fresh meats and seafood, imported cheeses, European pastries, weekly surprises and more at low prices.

E-commerce and Online Retail:

  • Amazon: Amazon is a major competitor in e-commerce, providing a vast selection of products with a strong focus on customer convenience and fast delivery. As the global undisputed leader in ecommerce, Amazon has continued to strengthen its position worldwide. Prime exclusive benefits have also helped Amazon grow its popularity across several corners of the globe.
  • Alibaba: While more globally focused, Alibaba is a significant e-commerce competitor, especially in markets like China. As a leading ecommerce platform in China, Alibaba also offers a vast selection of products. However, Alibaba’s presence is limited to some key markets and it has not been able to establish itself as a significant player in the US market.

Discount Retailers:

  • Dollar General: Dollar General is a U.S.-based discount retailer with a focus on providing value-oriented products at low prices. It sells products from some of the America’s most-trusted brands such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestlé, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo. The company also sells a nice range of private brands to allow customers more options for purchasing at substantial discounts. Its private label brands include Clover Valley, Good & Smart, true living, Gentle Steps, Studio Selection, Comfort Bay, Bobbie Brooks, Smart and Simple and more. The focus of Dollar General is also on Everyday Lower Prices across a large range of products.
  • Family Dollar: Acquired by Dollar Tree, Family Dollar operates as a discount store chain and competes with Walmart in the discount retail segment. The family Dollar stores offer a large range of merchandise in $1 to $10 range. Apart from selling competitively priced national brands by well known manufacturers, Family Dollar also offers brand-name, equivalent-value, lower-priced private labels. Family Dollar offers a vast range of products including food and beverages, paper products, health & beauty supplies, and pet food; home products such as housewares, gifts, bed linens, and home decor; apparel and accessories such as clothing, fashion accessories, and footwear; and seasonal and electronics merchandise such as holiday items, party supplies, and personal electronics. Family Dollar and Dollar Tree have also started combo stores with 810 such stores at the end of 2022. Moreover, it is offering thousands of products online in its e-retail store at familydollar.com.

Home Improvement and DIY:

  • Home Depot: As a leading home improvement retailer, Home Depot competes with Walmart in categories such as home and garden supplies, tools, and construction materials. It is the world’s largest home improvement retailer with retail stores operational across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico, the district of Columbia, US virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. At the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, the company has 2,355 stores operational in the US, Canada and Mexico.
  • Lowe’s: Similar to Home Depot, Lowe’s is a major competitor in the home improvement retail sector. It has also maintained an impressive presence in the United States where the company has more than 1700 stores operational.

Pharmacy and Health Retail:

  • CVS Health: CVS is a major competitor in the pharmacy and health retail space, offering a range of health and wellness products and services. At the end of 2023, CVS health had more than 9,000 retail locations, more than 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, 204 primary care medical clinics (form 10K 2023).
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance: Walgreens competes with Walmart in the pharmacy and retail health sector, providing a variety of health-related products. It is among the largest drugstore chains in the U.S.. The company also enjoys strong market position in Europe and Latin America. It sells its beauty products online and through 22,000 retail outlets in 29 markets worldwide.

International Retail:

  • Carrefour: A global retail giant based in France, Carrefour is a competitor in international markets, offering a range of products similar to Walmart. The company has its operations across 30 countries and has maintained a significant presence in the Europe, Asia and South America. It generates a significant part of its total net revenue from outside France.
  • Tesco: Based in the UK, Tesco is a major international retailer and competes with Walmart in various countries.

Walmart is facing strong competition from several physical and online retail brands across various business segments. It has still maintained a strong competitive position in the retail sector with the strongest presence of all retailers in the US. Its EDLP strategy, strong footprint and large product assortment as well as investment in technology are its leading drivers of growth and competitive advantage. It has been investing in technology over the past several years to improve its e-retail operations and strengthen its competitive edge. Its omnichannel strategy has been a success which has been reflecting in the improved financial performance of the company over the past several consecutive years.