FIND YOUR NICHE- DIFFERENTIATION IS KEY

Washington–These days, it doesn’t matter if a retailer is “clicks” or bricks.”

What matters, according to Stores magazine’s Hot 100 list of fastest-growing retailers, is providing unique offerings and experiences for consumers.

The list, compiled by research firm Kantar Retail, is based on sales growth between 2015 and 2016 and ranks both public and privately held retail companies by U.S. domestic sales, with a $300 million minimum.

So what do many of these fast-growing retailers have in common? They set themselves apart in a way that speaks to today’s consumers.

“The retail industry is getting better at addressing shifts in shopping behaviors and thinking differently,” Stores Media Editor Susan Reda said. “What matters most to consumers is a retailer differentiating itself in the marketplace, being innovative with merchandise and offering the right value to the right person, not whether a retailer is ‘bricks or clicks.’

“The mix of both traditional and digital retailers on this year’s list reflects that. The secret to sustained growth going forward is a symbiotic relationship between digital and physical retailing.”

Topping the list this year is subscription meal kit company Blue Apron, which Stores said has delivered more than 150 million meals since it started just five years ago. The company also saw annual sales grow 133 percent to $795.4 million last year.

At No. 2 is online furniture and home décor retailer Wayfair, where sales were up 54 percent to $2.9 billion as it expanded the products it offered to have better ranges in price and quality.

At No. 3 is Ascena Retail Group, the parent company of Ann Taylor, Catherines, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant and Maurices.

Ascena had 50 percent sales growth at $7 billion last year, Stores said, and has been focusing on mergers and acquisitions in recent years, a strategy that might not be working all that well for it. Ascena reported a net loss in the last fiscal year and also recently announced plans to close about 660 stores after a $1.03 billion loss in the third quarter.

Following at No. 4 is online pet food seller Chewy.com, with 48 percent growth to $900 million, followed by online building supply company Build.com/Wolseley, which grew 38 percent to $911 million.

Rounding out the top 10 are: convenience store operator CST Brands, up 29 percent at $2.1 billion; subscription fashion retailer JustFab, up 29 percent at $572 million; supermarket and department store chain Grupo Comercial Chedraui, up 27 percent at $1.5 billion; supermarket chain Gelson’s Markets, up 26 percent at $723 million; and Amazon.com, up 25 percent to $77 billion (and also named to Stores’ list of top U.S. retailers this year).

While online companies comprise six of the top 10, Stores noted that the majority of retailers on the “Hot 100” list are either traditional retailers or retailers that sell both in store and online.

Fewer than 10 companies on the complete list do business solely via e-commerce.

Stores also called out 14 retailers for being what it referred to as “sustained sizzlers,” having made the Hot 100 list since it began in 2006.

They, along with their sales growth since 2011, are as follows.
–Amazon.com, 192 percent;
–Aldi, 42 percent;
–Dollar General, 48 percent;
–Ross Stores, 49 percent;
–O’Reilly Automotive, 48 percent;
–Dick’s Sporting Goods, 52 percent;
–Tractor Supply Co., 60 percent;
–Academy Sports + Outdoor, 156 percent;
–Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, 160 percent;
–Sprouts Farmers Market, 251 percent;
–Casey’s General Stores, 67 percent;
–Grocery Outlet, 197 percent;
–Sephora, 44 percent; and
–Lululemon Athletica, 208 percent.

###

300x250 AD
300x250 AD
arrow
css.php