List of the 5 Largest Trading Companies in Germany
Trade is one of the central economic sectors in Germany. Trading companies contribute about 16 percent of the gross domestic product and provide a good 3 million jobs. These are the 5 largest trading companies in the Federal Republic of Germany:
#1: EDEKA ZENTRALE AG & Co. KG, Hamburg: Revenues of €55.7 Billion (2019)
EDEKA is the largest German food retailer. The group and the decentralised cooperative organisation enter into a unique symbiosis. The EDEKA headquarters is the umbrella for 7 regional companies. Around 4,500 independent EDEKA retailers form the basis. The network includes, among others, the discounter Netto, various bakery chains, beverage retailers and self-service department stores.
#2: REWE Deutscher Supermarkt AG & Co. KGaA, Cologne: Revenues of €55.4 Billion (2019)
With around 3,600 stores, REWE is the number 2 in German food retailing and at the same time Germany’s second largest trading company. Originally organised as a cooperative, Rewe has long since formed a group of companies. The current structure has been in place since 2006, when various supermarket chains of the Group were merged under the REWE brand. The discounter Penny also belongs to REWE.
#3: METRO AG, Düsseldorf: Revenues of €27.1 Billion (2018/19)
METRO AG was created in 2017 from the split-up of the old Metro Group and combined the retail chains Metro Cash & Carry and Real. The Real stores were sold to an investor group in February 2020. What remained is essentially Metro Cash & Carry – an international wholesale chain with a total of 760 self-service wholesale stores in 25 countries.
Update 2023: In February 2023, the Group announced that the Management Board of Metro Germany would be expanded. Martin Schumacher, a long-time Metro manager with international experience, was appointed CEO.
#4: PHOENIX Pharmahandel GmbH & Co KG, Mannheim: Revenues of €25.8 Billion (2018/19)
PHOENIX Pharmahandel is the number 1 pharmaceutical wholesaler in Germany and a leading European healthcare provider. The company belongs to the Merckle Group – a conglomerate with a focus on pharmaceuticals. PHOENIX Pharmahandel supplies 56,000 pharmacies in 27 countries with pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.
#5: CECONOMY AG, Düsseldorf: Revenues of €21.5 Billion (2018/19)
Like METRO AG, CECONOMY was created in 2017 from the split-up of the old Metro Group. Since then the consumer electronics chains Mediamarkt and Saturn have been operating under the new name. In operational terms, the stores are organized under the umbrella of the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group in Ingolstadt. The individual stores are legally independent units and each is majority-owned by the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group.
Database of the largest retail firms in Germany as easy-to-download Excel list
With the database of the largest retail companies in Germany, Research Germany offers a unique market overview of the most important players. In addition to general contact data of the largest German retailers, the list also contains the turnover of the last few years as well as the number of employees. This makes it easy to sort and filter the largest trading companies in Germany according to size. In addition, the database contains information on the industry in which the respective companies are active, so that you can identify the right partners for your project without spending hours of your own research. Our lists are updated regularly and are always up to date. As a customer, you will receive our updates free of charge by e-mail within one year of purchase. You can purchase the database directly as an Excel list via our online shop and start working right away. Lead generation in the German retail industry has never been easier.
Part of our database: Retailers, wholesalers, e-commerce companies
The retail sector reflects the German economy in its variety. Many retailers specialise in specific sectors and are market leaders in their respective industries. With our list of the largest retailers in Germany, we cover all areas and make this difficult-to-understand industry transparent. You can use the database to identify specific retailers, wholesalers or e-commerce companies. Thanks to our categorization and segmentation you can see at a glance in which industries the respective companies are active. Thus, our list offers much more than just an address database.
This information is part of the database
- Company name
- General contact information (address, e-mail address, telephone number, website)
- Names of the executives
- Revenues for the years 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 (taken from the respective annual and consolidated financial statements)
- Number of employees (based on the respective annual and consolidated financial statements)
- Classification by industry (see below)
- Own stationary trade (yes/no)
- Own online trade (yes/no)
Map of the locations of the largest companies
The following segments of the German retail industry are covered by the high-quality database:
In order to give you an impression of the scope of our database, we list below some industries that are covered by the database. Our research team has developed a field of activity for each company, combining the necessary granularity with a meaningful segmentation and categorization.
- Electrical wholesale (e.g. UNI ELEKTRO Fachgroßhandel GmbH & Co. KG)
- Industrial trade (e.g. Klöckner & Co SE)
- Chemical trade (e.g. Brenntag AG)
- Pharmaceutical trade (e.g. GEHE Pharma Handel GmbH)
- Construction trade (e.g. EUROBAUSTOFF Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG)
- Sanitary trade (e.g. Richter + Frenzel GmbH & Co. KG)
- Food retail trade (LEH) (e.g. EDEKA ZENTRALE AG & Co KG)
- Wine trade (e.g. Hanseatisches Wein- und Sekt-Kontor Hawesko GmbH)
- Fashion and textile trade (e.g. Peek & Cloppenburg KG)
- Mail order business (e.g. Otto GmbH & Co KG)
- Vehicle trade (e.g. Mahag Automobilhandel und Service GmbH & Co. OHG)
- Furniture trade (e.g. POCO Einrichtungsmärkte GmbH)
- Book trade (e.g. H. Hugendubel GmbH & Co. KG)
Online Trade / E-Commerce:
- Online fashion trade (e.g. Zalando SE, mytheresa.com GmbH)
- Online furniture trade (e.g. home24 SE)
- Online trade in children’s products (e.g. windeln.de SE, babymarkt.de GmbH)
- Online music store (e.g. Thomann GmbH)
- Online wine trade (e.g. Vicampo.de GmbH)
Why ResearchGermany is the best partner for high-quality industry lists
In recent years, the research team of Research Germany has established itself as a trusted partner for lead generation in Germany. Our databases are characterized by high data quality and valuable additional information on the companies contained in them. We work with modern, software-supported research methods to make industries that are difficult to understand easily accessible. However, we check every entry manually because we believe that fully automated research never meets the quality standards we want to offer our clients. If you have any questions about our service or are interested in a preview file of our lists, we will be happy to assist you. Just send us a short e-mail to contact[at]researchgermany.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We are also available for individual orders. By the way, we cover many other areas of the German economy besides the German retail industry. Examples are our list of the largest German industrial companies with the highest turnover or the database of the largest real estate investors in Germany. We look forward to welcoming you as a customer and to providing you with real added value with our data.
Picture sources: chuttersnap, Bhawin Jagad
Statistics based on the ResearchGermany database of the largest wholesale and trading companies in Germany
The ResearchGermany database of the German retail industry covers all segments of retail throughout the Federal Republic. Thanks to the extensive data set, we are able to publish interesting statistics. In the following, we present the distribution of the trading companies from our list by federal state and city in clear graphs. On request we are also able to prepare individual analyses.
Distribution of the headquarters of the largest German trading companies on our list by federal state
Most German trading companies are based in Bavaria or North Rhine-Westphalia. Both states are home to more than 100 of the largest German trading companies in the wholesale, retail and online trade sectors. In general, the distribution by federal state roughly corresponds to the general distribution of the largest companies in Germany (see here).
Distribution of the headquarters
Most of the largest trading companies in Germany are located in economically strong regions or in the cities with the most inhabitants. However, the distribution of headquarters by city shows that there are some interesting exceptions. This is particularly related to regional industrial clusters, which are also reflected in the retail sector.
The German retail industry: Statistics and facts
The retail sector is the interface between producers of goods and consumers. Retailers procure the products in demand from manufacturers and offer them “locally”. A distinction is made between wholesale and retail trade. Wholesalers sell their goods to commercial customers – including retailers – and to bulk buyers. The retail trade, on the other hand, offers its goods to private end users. Within the framework of this distinction, there are several dozen retail sectors.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, the German wholesale and retail trade represents an annual turnover of 2.19 trillion Euros and 6.4 million employees. There are about 150,000 wholesalers and about 300,000 retailers. In 2019 the retail trade achieved sales of almost 550 billion euros. One of the most important retail sectors is food retailing. It accounts for about 20 percent of retail sales. Internet trading has become increasingly important in recent years. It has developed into a serious competitor for stationary trade. Almost every eighth euro in retail is now generated in online stores. This share is likely to increase even further in future.
The retail sector is characterized by strong market concentration overall. In many retail sectors – for example in food retailing – the market is dominated by a few large chains. By contrast, the wholesale sector is less highly concentrated. Here, medium-sized companies are typical. Around one-fifth of those employed in retail work for wholesalers, while 80 percent are employed in the retail sector.
Marcus Flinn (verified owner) –
This is exactly the kind of database we were looking for. We use the list to approach the MDs via LinkedIn and are satisfied with the data quality.
Bastian Collins (verified owner) –
This list provides all necessary information on companies in the retail market in Germany. I’m very happy with the high quality data.