Discount retailers across the globe are set to be the next retail super powers for 2009 and beyond, according to a report from advisory firm Deloitte.

It said as ‘the global economy shifted in 2007 from relatively strong growth, to deceleration and on to modest recession in early 2008, consumers cut back on their spending and turned to discount retailers in ever increasing numbers.’

The report, Deloitte 2009 Global Powers of Retail in conjunction with Stores Magazine, ranks the 250 largest retailers in the world by fiscal 2007 sales figures.

It found the big movers in its survey were Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand, owner of the Lidl supermarket chain, which climbed three places from 10th to 7th.

Over the past five years, Schwarz has grown at a faster rate than any of the current top 10 with a compound annual growth rate of 12.6%.

Aldi, the discount supermarket chain, also climbed this year and was the only new entry in the top 10 taking the place of US retailer Sears.

Dr Ira Kalish, Deloitte research’s director of consumer business, said: ‘As we move through 2009, consumers will be intensely value-oriented, even more so than in the recent past. We are seeing this already with consumers shifting to more price focused retailers. For all retailers, this environment will require added attention to keeping costs under control.’

Forty four retailers experienced declining sales in 2007, compared with 36 the year before. Furthermore, the number of unprofitable retailers in the top 250 doubled from seven in 2006, to 14 in 2007.

Wal-Mart Stores remained the world’s largest retailer ahead of Carrefour Group. Tesco and Metro both climbed one place.

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