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World’s largest apparel company in 2019 is Christian Dior followed by Nike and Inditex

The Forbes Global 2000 announced 17th annual ranking of the top 2,000 public companies in the world for the year 2019. Christian Dior is now the planet’s largest apparel company, followed by Nike and Inditex.

World's largest apparel company 2019
Figure: Christian Dior is now the planet’s largest apparel company. Courtesy: Christian Dior

The Forbes Global 2000 is a useful indicator of which are the leading public companies in the world. The ranking is based on a mix of four metrics: sales, profit, assets and market value. Of the 61 countries represented on the list, the United States is home to the largest number, 575 companies. China and Hong Kong were next with 309, followed by Japan with 223. The breakdown looks very different than it did when Forbes first published the Global 2000 in 2003. That year, the United States contributed 776 companies while China and Hong Kong had just 43.

Luxury fashion empire Christian Dior gained as the world’s largest company focused on clothing, shoes and accessories. Dior climbed seven spots to No. 143 on the overall list and solidified its position as No. 1 in the apparel industry.

Its sales rose by double digits to $55 billion in 2018. The fashion house benefits from a 41% stake in its parent company, LVMH, which owns 70 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Dom Pérignon and Sephora.

World's three largest apparel company in 2019

Dior is the French luxury group posted an increase of 16% for the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period last year, with total revenues for the quarter totaling over $14 billion. The business group with the biggest increase percentage was the fashion and leather goods division, which posted a 20% increase (15% on an organic basis). Overall, the company said, all geographic regions are experiencing good growth, which would presumably qualm any lingering fears of a Chinese slowdown that analysts cautioned about.

According to The Forbes Global 2000, the second-largest apparel company is the Nike on its 17th annual ranking list. The company’s return to growth and its buzzy Colin Kaepernick ad campaign have helped fuel the stock, which locked in a 19% gain in 2018.

Rounding out the top three is Inditex, the Spanish fast-fashion giant that owns Zara as reported Forbes Global 2000. The company may not be growing at the rate it used to, but sales still edged up 6% to $31 billion in 2018.

But Nike ranks No. 14 on Forbes 2019 World’s Most Valuable Brand list, while Adidas comes in No. 61.

Companies like Lululemon and Foot Locker are gaining ground, they aren’t exactly close to dislodging the world’s apparel giants from their perch. Lululemon jumped a whopping 668 spots to No. 1480 and Foot Locker, which opened its first store in California in 1974, jumped 699 spots to No. 1671.

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