These 16 Companies Control Almost Everything You Buy

Companies’ signature brands add to their annual revenues and provide an edge to competition.

To determine how powerful each company is, we factored together fiscal 2014 revenue, the number of employees, and press mentions on Google News over the past year.

Here is a list of retail companies that own brands and products that we use every day.

2014 revenue: $83 billion

Number of employees: 118,000

P&G is the global leader in consumer goods with an unparalleled production scale and international reach. Some of the top P&G brands are everyday household items such as Tide, Swiffer, Crest, Olay, Pampers, Pantene, Herbal Essences, Old Spice, Vicks, Gillette, and Head and Shoulders.

CVS

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2014 revenue: $139.38 billion

Number of employees: 200,000

More people than ever pick CVS as their go-to spot for filling prescriptions, making it the biggest retailer of prescription drugs in the US. CVS, headquartered in Rhode Island, will purchase Target’s pharmacy and clinics businesses for about $1.9 billion, adding almost 2,000 pharmacies to its business.

eBay

2014 revenue: $17.9 billion

Number of employees: 34,600

In its 20th year of operation, eBay has a huge command over online shoppers spanning 203 markets worldwide. While it previously ran PayPal, it continues to run the online-ticketing-company StubHub.

Costco

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

2014 revenue: $110.2 billion

Number of employees: 195,000

Costco, which sells in bulk for lower prices, consistently outperforms competitors Walmart and Target. Costco’s Kirkland signature collection includes food, clothes, and household supplies. It’s more than just home goods and food — it’s also a growing force in car sales.

Starbucks

starbucks

2014 revenue: $16.4 billion

Number of employees: 191,000

While some of its stores are also rolling out beer, wine, and gourmet food options, Starbucks is the fifth most admired brand in the world, according to Fortune. With 22,000 retail stores in 66 countries, the Seattle-based coffee retailer spent most of 2014 dedicated to going green and launching plans to send its employees to collegeand hire more of America’s military families and veterans.

Nike

2014 revenue: $27.7 billion

Number of employees: 56,500

Selling sneakers, fitness tech, athletic clothing, and outdoor wear, Nike is predicted to outperform the industry for the next five years. Athletic gear is becoming a mainstream clothing staple — whether you actually work out or not — and no one does it better than Nike.

Kroger

2014 revenue: $108.56 billion

Number of employees: 400,000

Kroger is the largest supermarket chain by revenue in America. It operates more than 2,500 stores under some two dozen different banners. In addition to Kroger Stores, its groceries include Cala Foods, City Markets, Dillons, Foods Co, Fred Meyer Stores, Fry’s, King Soopers, Quality Food Centers (aka QFC), Ralphs, Food 4 Less, and Smith’s Food and Drug. It also owns Barclay, Fox’s, Fred Meyer, and Littman jewelers and the Kwik Shop, Loaf ‘N Jug, and Quik Stop convenience stores.

Coca-Cola

2014 revenue: $45.99 billion

Number of employees: 129,200

Chances are, you’ve consumed at least one of the 657 billion Coca-Cola products purchased annually. Powerade, Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid, Vitamin Water, Odwalla, Smart Water, Simply Orange, Fresca, Dasani, Fuzi, Ciel, and Burn are all brands from Coca-Cola.

Disney

Jeff Christiansen / Flickr

2014 revenue: $48.8 billion

Number of employees: 180,000

The Disney name is everywhere: toys, movies, television, apparel, theme parks. Its last major movie release, “Inside Out,” brought in $7.4 billion worldwide at the box office, and the much-anticipated “Star Wars” sequel debuts in December.

McDonald’s

2014 revenue: $27.4 billion

Number of employees: 420,000

With 36,258 chains worldwide, McDonald’s food options are adapting to consumer trends in favor of fast casual by rolling out all-day breakfast and revamping some of its stores to launch the “create your own” gourmet-burger option.

McDonald’s lists eight countries, including China and Russia, as high-growth markets — aka locations with high expansion and franchising potential, which is important since a large majority of McDonald’s restaurants (about 80% by the end of 2014) operate as franchises.

PepsiCo

2014 revenue: $66.7 billion

Number of employees: 271,000

As America’s leading beverage producer, PepsiCo owns 22 of the most well-known food and drink brands in the world, including Gatorade, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, 7-Up, Doritos, Cheetos, Quaker, Lipton, Ruffles, Tostitos, Aquafina, Brisk, Fritos, and Starbucks ready-to-drink beverages.

Johnson and Johnson

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2014 revenue: $74.33 billion

Number of employees: 126,500

Johnson and Johnson, a healthcare company, manufactures everyday use, in-home products such as Neutrogena, Rogaine, Aveeno, Band-Aid, Neosporin, Bengay, Listerine, Splenda, Lactaid, and Visine.

Apple

2014 revenue: $182.9 billion

Number of employees: 92,600

Apple is the world’s most valuable brand, according to Forbes. Its products and services include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Apple Music, and iCloud. It sells its products worldwide through its retail stores, online stores, and direct-sales force and third-party cellular-network carriers, wholesalers, retailers, and value-added resellers to the consumer.

Amazon

2014 revenue: $88.99 billion

Number of employees: 154,100

As the largest e-commerce site in the country, Amazon recently surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in America in terms of market capitalization. Amazon currently owns over 40 subsidiaries, including Zappos, IMDb, GoodReads, AbeBooks, Book Depository, Create Space, and Audible. It also has a huge consumer-electronics market by including an e-reader and tablet and launched Amazon Instant Video, which has produced an award-winning original television series, “Transparent.”

Target

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

2014 revenue: $72.61 billion

Number of employees: 347,000

Target owns a number of exclusive food, clothing, and supply brands, including, Archer Farms, Market Pantry, Champion, Cherokee, Circo, Up&Up, Xhilaration, Merona, Mossimo, Room Essentials, Gillian & O’Malley, and Threshold.

 

walmart

Walmart

2014 revenue: $485.62 billion

Number of employees: 2.2 million

With 11,500 stores in 28 countries, Walmart’s scope is undeniable. Walmart is also the single-largest employer in America and announced earlier this year that it’s raising wages for 500,000 of its 1.4 million US workers. The company sits at No. 1 on the Fortune 500. Walmart brands include Equate, Ol’Roy, Dr. Thunder, Special Kitty, Price First, Play Day, Mainstays, and Sam’s Choice.

 

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