Amazon rated No. 2 on Stores Hot 100 Retailers list with 46.2% sales growth in 2010 to US$18.5B; Netflix at No. 8 with 3.3 million new subscribers in Q1 alone, 29.5% increase in 2010 sales to US$2.1B

WASHINGTON , August 1, 2011 (press release) – A fresh batch of retailers is benefiting from precise market segmentation, innovative solutions and good old-fashioned popularity among consumers. According to the STORES Hot 100 Retailers list, published in the August issue of STORES Magazine, the fastest-growing retailers in the country are thinking outside the box – and seeing big rewards. The annual list highlights retail companies that reported the greatest increase in domestic sales between 2009 and 2010. All public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible for the list, which was compiled by Kantar Retail.

“Innovation is paying dividends to retailers, even in this economy,” said Susan Reda, Editor, STORES Media. “Many of today’s shoppers are making purchasing decisions not only on price, but also based on how connected they feel to brands.”

Topping the list this year is Ascena Retail Group, whose major business lines include the Dress Barn, Maurices and Justice apparel chains. Each of Ascena’s brands caters to a very distinct market segment, including adult, young adult and pre-teen clothing and accessories, serving its multiple platforms well by marketing fashionable, casual and affordable clothing options for women of all ages. Partially due to its acquisition of Tween Brands in 2009, Ascena’s sales rose 58.9 percent in 2010 to $2.4 billion.

Coming in at No. 2 this year is Amazon.com, whose revenue growth from 2009 to 2010 also earned it a high-ranking spot on the Top 100 Retailers list, which STORES released last month. Considered by some experts to be “the future of retailing,” Amazon’s sales grew 46.2 percent last year to more than $18.5 billion.

No. 3 on the list is Tesco’s Fresh & Easy, which has managed to stay true to its expansion plans over the last year, especially with its move into large cities in California. The company grew its U.S. store footprint 13.1 percent in 2010.

Revitalizing its 56-year-old brand, consumer electronics and appliance retailer hhgregg secures the No. 4 spot on the list this year, climbing from No. 25 last year. Capitalizing on the void left by the closing of Circuit City stores in 2009, hhgregg opened 110 stores over the last two years and is now approaching 200 units nationwide. Sales in 2010 grew 36.3 percent to more than $2.1 billion.

Apple Stores/iTunes come in at No. 7 this year. Nationwide brand recognition and devout customer loyalty for its line of mp3 players, smartphones, computers and tablet devices has helped boost both in-store and online hardware and download sales. Apple Stores/iTunes’ sales grew 32.3 percent in 2010.

Three other companies in the top 10 boast product offerings and services unique to their respective markets.

Netflix, No. 8, added 3.3 million new subscribers to its DVD and movie-streaming business in the first quarter of 2011 alone, evidence of the growing appetite among consumers for real-time entertainment. Netflix sales grew 29.5 percent in 2010 to $2.1 billion.

New to the Hot 100 this year, No. 9 H-&-M is considered a revolutionary in fast fashion, offering shoppers trendy, affordable and up-to-date product lines. After opening its first U.S. store in 2000, the company now says that 10 percent of all global sales take place in the United States. Sales grew 29.3 percent last year to $1.2 billion.

No. 10 Overstock.com, which operates in 90 countries, saw domestic sales grow 23.8 percent last year and has expanded to offer its customers deals on auto and home insurance and hotel rooms. Overstock.com is also a favorite among consumers for its hard-to-beat low shipping costs and stellar customer service.

Grocers Tops Market(5) and Bodega Latina (6) round out the top 10 Hot 100 Retailers.

“Specialization, consolidation and reinvention are the big themes in the Hot 100,” said Bryan Gildenberg, Chief Knowledge Officer, Kantar Retail. “Retailers like Ascena and Urban Outfitters develop distinct formats aimed at multiple targets, while retailers like Bodega Latina focus in on one specific segment. Consolidators like hhgregg grow as their direct competitors contract and businesses like Apple, Netflix and Overstock.com are reinventing the way people buy.”

Sustained Sizzle – 13 Retailers Make List for Six Consecutive Years

Qualifying for a list of the fastest-growing retailers is a feat in itself; making that list six years in a row – two of which included an unprecedented economic environment – 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 2011 ranking in parenthesis:

Amazon.com (#2)
O’Reilly Automotive (#32)
Ascena Retail Group (formerly Dress Barn) (#1)
Urban Outfitters (#18)
Aéropostale (#54)
Jos. A Bank Clothiers (#21)
J.Crew Group (#53)
Tractor Supply Company (#19)
Dollar Tree (#45)
Dick’s Sporting Goods (#99)
Walgreen (#71)
Ross Stores (#73)
PetSmart (#74)


List Evaluates Fastest-Growing Restaurants

The fastest-growing American restaurants were separately recognized again this year. Many were able to boost system-wide sales through domestic growth, while others saw significant increases in franchise operations last year. Read STORES’ complete Hot 100 article for more insight into the fastest-growing restaurants. The top 15 are listed below (ranked by year-over-year change from 2009 to 2010):

Five Guys
Jimmy John’s
Chipotle Mexican Grill
BJ’s Restaurants
Wingstop Restaurants
Panda Restaurant Group (Panda Express)
Bojangles Restaurants
Buffalo Wild Wings
Cheddar’s Casual Cafe
Focus Brands (e.g., Moe’s Southwestern Grill, Auntie Anne’s, Seattle’s Best, Carvel)
Chick-fil-A
Little Caesars
Panera Bread Co.
Papa Murphy’s
Subway


About the Survey

The Hot 100 Retailers list is the definitive annual ranking of the fastest-growing public and private retail chains in the United States. Rankings are determined by increases in year-over-year domestic sales between 2009 and 2010. The STORES Hot 100 list was sponsored by Hypercom Corporation, JDA Software Group, Inc., and Motorola Solutions.

Kantar Retail is a global retail insights and consultancy company providing insight-driven solutions for retailers and manufacturers. Recognized as an authority on the retail industry, retailers and shoppers, Kantar Retail combines the resources of Cannondale, Glendinning, MVI and Retail Forward to deliver best-in-class approaches to marketplace and shopper insights, analytics, strategy and execution capabilities. Kantar Retail helps its clients become leaders by delivering a deeper understanding of consumer, market and shopper insights. The company’s portfolio of syndicated products and customized consulting services helps retailers identify and pursue growth opportunities, develop and execute go-to-market strategies, and optimize investments in merchandise, marketing and the shopping experience. Kantar Retail is headquartered in London and is part of the Kantar Group of WPP.

STORES Media is the publishing group of the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. STORES Media offerings include STORES Magazine, STORES.org, STORES Knowledge Series and STORES Weekly. STORES products report on the broad spectrum of strategic issues facing senior retail executives, including: retail technology, supply chain and logistics, credit and payment systems, loss prevention, human resources, online retailing, communications, marketing, merchandising and other vital store operations.

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