Walmart's Total Retail Space Is Larger Than Manhattan

The latest issue of GOOD Magazine has a sweet graphic showing the comparative landmass taken up by the world’s largest retail chains. Walmart leads with a total square footage larger than Manhattan. By comparison, McDonald’s has a net footrprint of about 1 and 3/4 Central Parks. The image also shows 7-11, Blockbuster, Subway, KFC, GAP, Burger King, Starbucks, and Wendy’s.

Not that we’re advocating a return to the cave, but it’s awesome sometimes to ponder the amount physical Earth taken up by cookie-cutter concrete.

Hit the GOOD site for the graphic in its full 1844 pixel wide glory.

Retail Real Estate [GOOD]


Edit Your Comment

  1. rmz says:

    That is a ridiculous graph. Does Wal-Mart really take up about three times as much land than the nearest competitor?

  2. uricmu says:

    That’s dumb. Everything is fast food restaurants and convenience stores (small by nature), and then we’ve got a big-box retailers.

    What about Target? What about Macy’s who have multiple stories? etc. etc.

  3. MonkeyMonk says:

    If I’m reading the chart correctly . . . are there actually more Wendys than Burger King now (although the Wendys seem to take up a less overall acreage)?

  4. TechnoDestructo says:

    You’re not reading it correctly…I’m pretty sure that’s the total of all stores.

    Also…is this just the in-store space? Or does it count parking lots?

  5. EtherealStrife says:

    What an asinine graph. The stores were chosen for graphing aesthetics rather than applicability.

  6. bricko says:

    The graph does not have any other big box stores on it with their parking lots. Some of the other stores listed use on street parking such as star bucks etc. othes are geared for short term stays, they want you to eat and get out. Walmart wants you to stay longer.

    Plus these acreages are not really much. Ive worked on farms and ranches in TX that are not measured in such small entities as acres…they are measured in Sq. Miles. Walmarts 18,000 acres is only 28 sq. miles which is not much when you look t the number of stores and their parking lots.

  7. slowinthefastlane says:

    What about Home Depot? Those things are everwhere, and they’re freakin’ huge.

  8. TWinter says:

    @MonkeyMonk: I suspect that Wendy’s has more locations inside food courts, truck stops, and campus student unions. They probably don’t count anything but the actual work area for locations like that since the seating and parking would be shared by many businesses.

  9. meehawl says:

    I am underwhelmed by an article that compares the total “acerage” (oh, how quaint) of the “world’s largest retail chains” but leaves out global giants like Carrefour or Aldi/Trader Joe’s.

  10. overbysara says:

    manhattan isn’t all that big really… not a terribly impressive comparison, perhaps?

  11. Ben Popken says:

    But you gotta admit, that is one pretty looking graph. It’s got clouds n shit.

  12. Xkeeper says:

    Pretty does not mean “useful”, unfortuntaely. The lack of decent comparisons — e.g., everything’s of a different type, so ti isn’t “comparison of big box retailers”, “fast food chains”, etc — makes it utterly worthless.

  13. kimsama says:

    It looks like Machu Picchu!

  14. jeff303 says:

    @meehawl: As far as “global giants” go, neither Aldi nor Trader Joe’s are near the top of the list. []

  15. vex says:

    Does this include the stores they build, abandon, and leave rotting while they move into a new bigger store across the street? Or is it just open Walmarts?

  16. @Ben Popken: now that you mention it, I think i’ll put clouds in my powerpoint presentations from now on. if clouds could make this graph look good, im set for life

  17. Beerad says:

    Are there really that many Blockbusters in the world and they take up that much space? THAT’S the scary part of this graph.

  18. frogpelt says:

    Yeah, and all the golf courses in the U.S. combined are bigger than Rhode Island. But what does it mean?

  19. frogpelt says:

    Also, there are more Subways and 7-11s than anything.

    Looks like Apu is racking up.

  20. rdm24 says:

    Manhattan isn’t all that big, but a lot of impressive things come out of Manhattan. It’s a cultural hotspot. It also represents a huge diversity of merchants, many of which are local businesses.

    For all their acreage, what does WalMart contribute to the nation? Low quality merchandise.

    What we are talking about is a waste of space. Land is perhaps our rarest resource (after freshwater), and we are devoting huge amounts of it to giant retailers that provide us with cheap crap.

  21. DJFelix says:

    DFW airport is bigger than Manhattan …

    From www – dfwairport – com / visitor / facts . htm :

    At the time DFW was built, it was the largest and costliest airport in the world: $700 million spent and 17,500 acres – bigger than the island of Manhattan


  22. meehawl says:

    Aldi owns Trader Joe’s so you’ve got to count them together. And France’s Carrefour is larger than either of them, just behind Walmart in total retail sales dollar volume. That chart on your link shows northamerican sales only – respectable, but not really representative of global sales!

    This chart shows ranked global sales in dollar volume (not store space):

    Check the store numbers, Carrefour is at 12,000 next to Walmart’s 6,000 (store sizes are different, of course).

  23. backspinner says:

    Maybe they should bulldoze manhattan and actually make it a giant indoor walmart? It’s headed that way anyways.

  24. WheelDawg says:

    SO how come some layers are so much teller? Do they typically have 2 or 3 floors? I don’t think so.
    The 7-11 spot is tall, while others like WAl-Mart’s are thin. Weird.