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Whether you’re looking for a new television, radio, or digital device, a consumer electronics store is the place for you. Surprisingly, these popular retailers have been around since the late 1800s, where they operated as phonograph dealers and music stores.
When the radio was invented, these types of shops shifted to providing specialist electronic hardware and radio equipment. By 1923, there were over 15,000 phonograph dealers who also sold these products.
These stores became even more popular in the mid-1950s when hi-fi stereo equipment became available in the mainstream market. They were referred to as “hi-fi stores” and offered equipment such as phonographs, tuners, receivers, speakers, and more.
Soon after, these stores included offerings of audio-video equipment and highly trained sales staff who could assist their clients with purchasing and troubleshooting their devices.
As demand for electronics soared in the 1980s and 1990s, the United States saw the emergence of large retailers like Circuit City, Radio Shack, and Best Buy, some of which are still standing today.
By the turn of the millennium, technology began to take over. Many large organizations went out of business, but some shifted their offerings to include computers, mobile telephones, and specialized salespeople who could assist with troubleshooting these devices.
Today, we are reliant on many of these large electronic brands for our technology and electronics purchases. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the 15 largest electronic stores in the world by revenue. The top 15 stores are:
Hon Hai Precision Industry
Gree Electric Appliances
Looking Deeper at the Top 15 Electronic Stores
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 260,174
This multinational technology company is headquartered in Cupertino, California, and is one of the Big Five in the U.S. information technology industry along with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.
On this list, Apple is the only company that has crossed $200 billion in revenue. Apple boasts the highest profits from its offerings such as the iPhone, iPads, and iMac computers and laptops.
Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple grew significantly over the years from its initial Apple computer offering, becoming the world’s largest technology company by revenue and one of the most valuable companies based on its market capitalization.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 197,705
A South Korean company, Samsung Electric Industries was established as part of the larger Samsung Group conglomerate, contributing just about 70% of the entire organization’s revenue. The company is truly global with facilities in 70 countries across the world.
Samsung has a large stake in the mobile phone and television product market and is also the world’s largest memory chip provider.
They’ve had their hand in several other ventures including Nook color tables in a joint effort with Barnes Noble, sponsorship for notable events such as the 86th Academy Awards, and a partnership with IKEA to co-develop furniture that would allow Qi inductive charging.
Most recently, Samsung proposed a $17 billion plan to build an American chip-making factory in 2021, operational by October 2022.
Hon Hai Precision Industry
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 172,689
Founded in Taiwan 46 years ago, Hon Hai is one of the largest employers in the world. This organization is a manufacturer of many international businesses and they offer iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Blackberrys, PS3, WiiU, and Xbox gaming consoles.
Sometimes known as Foxconn Technology Group or Foxconn, manufactures these electronic products for major American, Canadian, Chinese, Finnish, and Japanese companies including Acer, Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Cisco, Dell, Google, Hewlett Packard, Huawei, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Toshiba, and more.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 80,639
This Japanese company is headquartered in Tokyo and among the largest electronic companies in the world. It’s the oldest company on this current list, founded 110 years ago under its parent company Hitachi Group.
During the years between 2006 and 2010, Hitachi suffered the largest corporate loss in Japanese history, prompting the company to restructure and sell a number of its divisions.
Currently, this company still has a hand in producing automotive systems, construction machinery, defense systems, digital media, consumer products, electronic systems and equipment, information and telecommunication systems, power systems, social infrastructure, and more.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 75,972
Sony is a household name, operating as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of both consumer and professional electronic products, the largest video game console company, the second-largest video game publisher, record company, and one of the most comprehensive media companies in the world.
Sony Electronics Corporation is the electronics business unit of the Sony Group and provided many innovative products including the world’s first portable music player, the Walkman, the world’s first all-transistor television, and more.
In 1994, Sony launched the first PlayStation which gained 61% of gaming console sales and broke Nintendo’s hold in the market. The PlayStation 2, 3, and 4 were all launched with great success.
In 2014, Sony announced PlayStation VR for PlayStation 4, bringing virtual reality gaming and non-gaming software to the console. On November 12, 2020, the PlayStation 5 was released, selling 2.5 million on launch day.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 68,897
Panasonic, formerly known as Matsushita, was originally founded as a light bulb manufacturing company in Osaka, Japan in 1918. In 1961, the company came to the United States, producing television sets under the Panasonic brand, expanding to Europe in 1979.
Panasonic and JVC were the companies that co-introduced the VHS tape to the world and was the world’s top patent applicant for three decades from the 1980s to the 2000s.
Today Panasonic provides products in the appliances, life solutions, connected solutions, automotive, and industrial solutions market.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 53,464
This South Korean company, originally named GoldStar, was founded in 1958 by Koo In-hwoi. The company has four major business units: Home entertainment, mobile communications, home appliances, and air solutions and vehicle components.
It is the second-largest LCD television manufacturer in the world. In 1958, LG Electronics developed a relationship with Hitachi, helping LG Electronics produce some of South Korea’s first radios, TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 44,207
This Taiwanese company was only founded 14 years ago but has become incredibly successful and large in the industry. Pegatron produces laptops, notebooks, motherboards, and handheld devices.
The business was founded as an independent company from ASUSTeK Computer, which was in the process of restructuring its operations. Today, Pegatron is one of the most significant component suppliers for Tesla, Inc.
Unfortunately, the company has dealt with some negative controversies regarding their unlawful working conditions for employees, prompting several labor disputes that led to police intervention.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 41,045
Founded in 1921 in Tokyo, Mitsubishi Electric is the oldest company on our list at 150 years old.
This organization produces household appliances like air conditioners as well as products like semiconductors, digital signage, and factory automation products. In the United States, the Mitsubishi Electric headquarters resides in Cypress, California.
From 1993 to 2005, Mitsubishi Electric held the record for the fastest elevator in the world in the 70-story Yokohama Landmark Tower.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 40,440
This Chinese electric appliance manufacturer has 200 subsidiaries and over 60 branches that help to manage their products and business. This organization is headquartered in Guangdong, China.
Midea produces products for lighting, water appliances, floor care, kitchen appliances, laundry, cooking appliances, and refrigeration appliances. In 2016, the company acquired German robotics company KUKA, making them the world’s largest producer of robots and appliances.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 36,709
American-owned Honeywell is a big player in the smart home industry with a variety of innovative products across aerospace, building technologies, performance materials and technologies, and safety and productivity solutions.
Originally named the Butz Thermo-Electric Regulator Company, the organization was founded in 1885 when Albert Butz invented the thermostat. In 1906, Mark Honeywell founded the Honeywell Heating Specialty Company when he invented the mercury seal generator.
These two companies merged in 1927, creating Honeywell International. Today, Honeywell operates out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and has since launched its analytics platform for industrial and commercial applications.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Honeywell created 24 million N95 masks to distribute to frontline workers.
China Electronics Corporation
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 32,447
China Electronics is a state-owned company and one of the largest telecom companies in China. It provides services for both civilians and military members.
China Electronics Corporation has four main divisions: computer software, hardware and system integration, telecommunication network and terminals, and digital appliances. In 2007, China Electronics acquired the mobile phone division of Phillips.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 31,179
Toshiba is a Japanese multinational conglomerate that’s headquartered in Tokyo. The company offers products and services across power, industrial, and social infrastructure systems, elevators and escalators, electronic components, semiconductors, hard disks, printers, batteries, lighting, IT solutions, and more.
Founded in 1939, Toshiba is a household name across the world and is revered as one of the major symbols of Japanese technological prowess. Today, Toshiba has bowed out of the laptop industry, selling its computer business unit to Sharp for $36 million.
In 2020 they announced several new ventures including quantum cryptography services, high-capacity hydrogen fuel cells, a proprietary computer algorithm mimicking quantum computing, and more.
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 30,397
Schneider Electric is one of the biggest companies in the country of France, providing energy and automated digital solutions for both residential homes and businesses.
This organization has a heavy focus on efficiency and sustainability in its products and is the parent company of Square D, APC, and others.
The organization also has a research division, investing EUR10 billion in innovation and research and development for sustainable development between 2015 and 2025.
Gree Electric Appliances
Total Revenue (2019): ($M) 29,024
This Chinese manufacturer of appliances boasts the title of largest air conditioner manufacturer globally.
Headquartered in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, it also produces electric fans, water dispensers, heaters, rice cookers, air purifiers, water kettles, humidifiers, and induction cookers.
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