||New Report Ranks Fastest-Growing Retailers in U.S.
A look at the fastest-growing retailers in the United States highlights some of the biggest trends among consumers, including the interest surrounding organic supermarkets, high-end retail brands, and mobile technologies.
STORES Hot 100 Retailers list, published annually in the magazine's August issue, consists of retail companies that reported the greatest increase in domestic sales between 2010 and 2011. All public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible for the list, which was compiled by Kantar Retail.
"The list of the fastest-growing retailers is in sync with current shopping trends as these merchants have a razor sharp focus on today's consumer. Among the top ten are retailers that cater to shoppers' desire for smaller footprint organic supermarkets, high-end workout apparel and luxury accessories, and even online shopping," said STORES Media Editor Susan Reda. "Not surprisingly, Verizon Wireless, Apple Stores and AT&T Wireless round out the mix -- a clear indicator of how important smartphone devices have become."
Topping the list this year is Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market, which witnessed nearly 72 percent year-over-year sales growth in 2011. The company has a total of 109 establishments -- a 102 percent increase from the prior year. The family-owned organization also has ambitious growth plans for 2012 that include the merger with Sunflower Markets.
No. 2 Verizon Wireless and No. 10 AT&T Wireless both had tremendous sales growth in 2011. Verizon Wireless' sales grew 69 percent last year while AT&T saw sales growth of 30 percent. Building on this trend, No. 9 Apple Stores/iTunes' sales grew 37 percent last year. Apple also benefits from the digital side of the business with iTunes, which rakes in sales from the online purchase of music, movies and videos.
Hot 100 newcomers Michael Kors Holdings (3), Lululemon Athletica (4) and Under Armour (5) continue to make noise within the retail industry. Known for their hyper-loyal customer bases and high-end apparel and accessories, experts agree these retailers have staying power even in a shaky economy. Michael Kors' U.S. sales grew 65 percent in 2011, Lululemon's 65 percent, and Under Armour's 63 percent.
CARE Pharmacies (6), Amazon.com (7) and Lowe's Market Place (8) round out the hot 10.
"For all the changes we see in the Hot 100, the attributes of greatness remained consistent in 2011," commented Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail. "Retailers that have a strong value proposition defined for their audience combined with the economic and operating savvy required to execute against it continue to define 'winning' in today's challenging retail environment," he added.
Qualifying for a list of the fastest-growing retailers is a feat in itself; making that list seven years in a row deserves a designation all its own. The following retailers have each made the STORES Hot 100 list since its inception in 2006. The companies are listed below in order of average annual growth, with their 2012 ranking in parenthesis:
- Amazon.com (7)
- Ascena Retail Group (95)
- O'Reilly Automotive (85)
- Urban Outfitters (62)
- Tractor Supply Co. (22)
- Dick's Sporting Goods (18)
- J.Crew Group (79)
- Dollar Tree (35)
- Jos. A Bank Clothiers (28)
- Walgreen (72)
- Ross Stores (58)
- PetSmart (87)
The fastest-growing American restaurants were separately recognized again this year. The top 10 are:
(Source: National Retail Federation, 08/01/12)
- Five Guys
- Jimmy John's
- Chipotle Mexican Grill
- BJ's Restaurants
- Cheddar's Casual Cafe
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Panda Restaurant Group (Panda Express)
- Noodles & Company
- Wingstop Restaurants
To access the complete Hot 100 list, follow this link.
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