Wal-Mart again stood atop the annual top 100 retailers list amassed by the National Retail Federation's Stores magazine, and West Sacramento-based Raley's anchored the rankings at No. 100.
What's the difference between the two? About $450 billion.
To be fair, Raley's solely domestic estimated sales of $3.3 billion in 2011 cannot compare with Wal-Mart's staggering $453.9 billion amassed worldwide. Wal-Mart's U.S. sales total was estimated at $316 billion.
So, the difference between Nos. 1 and 100 is more like $312.7 billion.
Numerical differences aside, both rankings reflect regional trends.
Raley's has been falling down the Stores list of late.
The magazine's July edition noted that the local grocery company's 2011 sales total dropped from $3.36 billion in 2010, which was good for 93rd on last year's list.
Raley's was 81st two years ago and ranked No. 92 three years ago.
The West Sacramento grocer has seen some of its market share erode amid an increasingly competitive industry throughout Northern California. Besides closing some stores, it's also seeking concessions from unionized workers.
Raley's, however, is not alone in that.
Modesto-based Save Mart Supermarkets and Pleasanton-based Safeway also are locked in prolonged negotiations with the United Food and Commercial Workers.
Safeway actually edged up to No. 10 on this year's list with estimated worldwide sales of $42 billion and the grocer ranked first among California retailers on the magazine's list.
Save Mart, however, went from 70th last year to No. 75 this year, with 2011 estimated domestic sales of $5 billion. All Save Mart sales are domestic, compared with 88.2 percent for Safeway.
For its part, Raley's said it was pleased to anchor the Stores list.
"Raley's is proud to be in the top 100, and we have every intention of moving back up the list in the coming years," said spokeswoman Ashley Zepernick. "Through various cost saving measures we have taken to date coupled with other steps currently in the planning stages, we are confident we will start growing our business once again, which benefits our customers, our employees and the local economy.
"Most importantly, we need to conclude our current labor negotiations soon so we can focus on growing our company to effectively compete in the years ahead."
One of those competing against Raley's is Wal-Mart, a nonunion store that has upped the ante with fully stocked grocery aisles.
Raley's and other grocers have noted the difficulty in competing against nonunion chains that pay lower wages. Stores magazine said that drugstore chains such as Walgreen and CVS Caremark "continue to expand their food offerings."
The magazine also noted that Wal-Mart is making gains with smaller stores in more communities.
The sheer size of Wal-Mart's numbers dominated the Stores rankings. Its $454 billion in estimated worldwide retail sales far outdistanced second-place Kroger Co.'s $85.5 billion.
In fact, Wal-Mart's worldwide sales total exceeded the combined total of the next six competitors on the Stores list Kroger, Target, Walgreen, Costco, Home Depot and CVS, respectively.
"Wal-Mart's number looks like the (gross domestic product) of a euro nation," marveled New York-based marketing and branding expert Peter Schaub. "For all the criticism Wal-Mart gets from all sides, it's hard to argue with their results.
"They're an economic force in the communities where they build stores."
Other California companies in the magazine's rankings included Apple (21), Gap (31), Ross Stores (42), Trader Joe's (51), DineEquity (64), Stater Bros. Holdings (92) and Williams-Sonoma (94).