Food is big business, and one area in which this is particularly felt is in the supermarket retail sector. Increasingly becoming more than just the place to pick up the weekly fruit and vegetables, the local supermarket has morphed into an international player often worth millions of dollars.

With this area of the industry particularly strong, competition is tough and standards have to be high to even begin to get a look into consumers’ trollies. While we all may have a favourite place to do food shopping, which retailers have the most global clout?

1. Walmart

Without a doubt the overriding ruler of the current supermarket retail sector, this American group continues to go from strength to strength in its seemingly never-ending retail strategy expansion plans.

Offering shoppers much more than just food, Walmart shops have been destinations for beauty products, clothes and electronics in stores in several continents across the world.

2. Carrefour S.A

This French retail giant has a stronghold not only within France but throughout the world too, with 10,000 international stores as of December 2013. Translated as ‘crossroads’ in English, this retailer continues to drive ahead of its national competition in the global retail stage.

3. Tesco

Closely following behind Carrefour in the international supermarket retail stakes, the UK-based Tesco group is a significant player in the supermarket industry. Despite suffering in recent times, the group employs half a million people in 12 markets and so its influence in this sector is undeniable.

4. Costco

Although a warehouse, this US company continues to dominate the supermarket sector worldwide, and is one of the biggest existing membership companies. Famed for its deals and low-cost value, shoppers flock to Costco to bag a bargain.

5. The Kroger Company

Kroger stores originated in Cincinnati in America’s Midwest, and now span 2,640 stores across 34 US states. The company has always had a strong focus on community and the importance of neighbours, and so this small-town feel may have contributed to its big-time success.