Walmart Is Still the U.S. Retail Leader, But For How Long?

Walmart storefront

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Walmart Inc. continues to reign supreme over major retailers, but for how long?

In 2018, 64 percent of U.S. adults (about 162 million) shopped at Walmart in the past three months, according to Walmart as Omnichannel Competitor, the latest report from market research firm Packaged Facts.

The retailer has also maintained its wide usage lead even when accounting for online purchases. Packaged Facts estimates that more than half of U.S. adults purchased in-store or online from Walmart in the past three months.

Additionally, Walmart’s usage far outpaced supercenter competitor Target Corp. and bested the growing omnichannel omnipresence of Amazon.

Walmart is better positioned than ever to grow along with e-commerce instead of fighting against it, the market research firm noted. Amazon maintains a wide online purchasing lead over the competition, but Walmart — for the moment — is shoulders above the e-commerce giant when all aspects of retailing are considered. But will it last?

"The lingering question has now become, 'How much longer can Walmart continue to stay ahead of Amazon?' A change is coming sooner than most might anticipate," commented David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.

From 2014 to 2018, Walmart’s aggressive foray into e-commerce and omnichannel retail began to materialize. But, while Walmart remains the largest retailer in the U.S., its reign may end in 2022, at which time Packaged Facts forecasts that Amazon will surpass it, based on the assumption that Amazon sales will continue to grow at a much faster rate.

Walmart as Omnichannel Competitor — which assesses Walmart usage, products and services initiatives and competitive trends within the context of the broader retail market, and focuses on omnichannel (online, in-store and aggregated) consumer purchasing trends over time — is available here.

Rockville-based Packaged Facts is a division of It publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services.