Amazon.com, Inc. is an American international electronic commerce company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the world's largest online retailer. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, but soon diversified, selling DVDs, VHSs, CDs, video and MP3 downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewellery.
ASOS.com is one of the UK's largest online-only fashion and beauty stores. Primarily aimed at 18-34 year old men and women, ASOS sells both branded fashion goods and its own range of clothes. Sales for the financial year ending 31 August 2013 were GB Pound 753.8 million. In May 2012, ASOS reported a jump in pre-tax profits from GB Pound 15.7 million to GB Pound 30.3 million, with sales up 46% at GB Pound 495 million.
Boden, founded in 1991 by Johnnie Boden, is a British clothing retailer selling womenswear, menswear and childrenswear internationally. Originally a mail-order business, 90% of sales are now generated online, with mail-order remaining an important part of Bodens marketing strategy, distributing 50 million catalogues each year. Retailing worldwide, key regions include the UK, US, and Germany, with new countries including Australia planned for the future.
eBay Inc. is an American multinational internet consumer-to-consumer corporation, headquartered in San Jose, California. It was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, and became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble; it is now a multi-billion dollar business with operations localized in over thirty countries.
Makro is an originally Dutch chain of Warehouse clubs, also called cash and carries. The first one opened in 1968 in Amsterdam. In the following years more stores opened in the Netherlands and in several other countries within Europe and, in 1971, South Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s Makro extended its business to the Americas and Asia. The stores are not open to the general public (except in Brazil and Pakistan), only to businesses which have to be registered members in order to gain entry to the store.
Pick 'n Pay is the second largest supermarket chain store in South Africa, established in 1967. It can also be found in other regions of southern Africa, such as Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Namibia as well as Mauritius and soon to open in Malawi. The founder of the chain was Jack Goldin. Raymond Ackerman purchased three Pick 'n Pay supermarkets (in Cape Town) from Goldin, and served as executive chairman until his retirement in 2010. His eldest son, Gareth, is the current chairman.
Spar is an international retail chain and franchise with approximately 12,500 stores in 35 countries worldwide. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 by retailer Adriaan van Well. Through its affiliate organisations, Spar operates through most European countries, parts of Africa, Asia and Australia. It has its headquarters in Amsterdam.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., branded as Walmart, is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's second largest public corporation, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2013, the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world. Walmart remains a family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family, who own over 50 percent of Walmart. It is also one of the world's most valuable companies.
Woolworths Holdings Limited (JSE: WHL) is a South African chain of retail stores and one of the largest in the country, modelled on Marks & Spencer of the United Kingdom. This relationship with Britain's Marks and Spencer was formed after the Second World War, which led to the retailer buying all of the unissued share capital of Woolworths in 1947. These shares were later sold, but close ties still remain. The first Woolworths store opened in The Old Royal Hotel in Cape Town in October 1931. It was founded by Max Sonnenberg assisted by his son Richard and Fred Kossuth.