Global retail sales are estimated to be approximately $25 trillion in 2016 and are likely to see steady growth over the next several years, thanks to improving economic global conditions and the continued growth of e-commerce. Retail companies are expected to improve distribution and enhance the customer in-store experience through the use of new technologies, keeping up with a constantly evolving industry. The world’s top four largest retail companies based on sales are in the United States, with combined 2015 annual sales of $861.4 billion. These companies are Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) and Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR).

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores is an American retail company, incorporated in 1969, that employs 2.2 million people. The company is primarily involved in operating retail and wholesale stores in several formats across the globe. These stores include Walmart United States, Walmart International and Sam’s Club. The company’s key competitors are Costco Wholesale and BJ’s wholesale Club.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market-capitalization of $220.3 billion, with 2015 annual sales of $482.1 billion, the highest of any retail company in the world. Its price-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is 15, which is in line with the world retail average of 15.6. The company pays a yield of 2.92%, which is in line with the world retail average of 2.8%. As of March 2016, Wal-Mart Stores shares were trading at $68.00, with a target price of $64.56. Analysts give the stock a hold rating.

CVS Health Corp.

CVS Health is an American pharmacy health care company, incorporated in 1996, that employs 243,000 people. The company is primarily involved in providing integrated pharmacy health care services. Its three businesses include Pharmacy Services, Retail Pharmacy and Corporate. CVS Health’s key competitors are Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA).

CVS Health has a market-capitalization of $114.3 billion, with 2015 annual sales of $153.3 billion. It has a P/E ratio of 19.1, which is above the world retail average. The company pays a yield of 1.64%, which is below the world retail average. As of March 2016, CVS Health’s shares were trading at $101.43, with a target price of $111.54. Analysts give the stock a buy rating.

Costco Wholesale Corp.

Costco Wholesale is an American wholesale membership club, incorporated in 1987, that employs 205,000 people. The company sells private-label and branded products. It operates in countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Australia and parts of Asia. Costco Wholesale also operates an online business, which sells products and services such as travel, pharmacy and business distribution. Costco Wholesale’s key competitors are Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT).

Costco Wholesale has a market-capitalization of $69.2 billion, with 2015 annual sales of $116.2 billion. It has a P/E ratio of 27.9, which is well above the world retail average. The company pays a yield of 1.02%, which is below the world retail average. As of March 2016, Costco Wholesale’s shares were trading at $151.43, with a price target of $166.17. Analysts give the stock an overweight rating.

Kroger Co.

Kroger is an American retail company, incorporated in 1902, that employs 400,000 people. The company operates businesses that include retail, food and drug, department, jewelry and convenience stores that are located across the United States. Kroger also operates an online business. The company’s key competitors are Costco Wholesale and Target.

Kroger has a market-capitalization of $36.8 billion, with 2015 annual sales of $109.8 billion. It has a P/E ratio of 18, which is above the world retail average. The company pays a yield of 1.10%, which is below the world retail average. As of March 2016, Kroger’s shares were trading at $37.65, with a price target of $43.00. Analysts give the stock an overweight rating.