The 5 Most Powerful Women in Retail

Women increasingly hold the top positions across the retail industry and are influencing the society like never before. Forbes' annual look at the most powerful women in the world is chock full of politicians, philanthropists, media personalities, technologists, and five retailers.

The World's 100 Most Powerful Women report was compiled through the exploration of economics, media momentum, spheres of influence and impact.

The five retailers named to the coveted list were:

#64 Rosalind Brewer, CEO, Sam's Club, Walmart Stores
Brewer joined Walmart in 2006 and was named Sam's Club CEO in 2012. She is the first woman and first African-American to lead a Walmart division. The warehouse-club division posted revenues of $56 billion in 2013. Since taking the top spot two years ago, Brewer has spearheaded a collection of programs to increase customer experience and market share. Recent initiatives include: installing WiFi at all 635 locations; Click‘n’Pull, a free service that lets members place their orders online or by fax, and pick them up the next morning; My Subscriptions, a pilot service that allows members to order items like diapers online with discounted shipping rates; and a new cash-back credit card.

#75 Miuciia Prada, owner, fashion designer, Prada
Prada took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer and retailer in 1978. She has stepped down as chairman of Prada to join her husband and business partner Patrizio Bertelli as co-CEO. The Italian billionaire is the company's lead designer and is widely recognized with recreating the brand's image with an elegant, crisp style.

#76 Carol Meyrowitz, CEO, TJX
Meyrowitz took the top spot at TJX in 2007 and has overseen meteoric financial gains, growing profit from $690 million to $2.1 billion. Over its 36-year history, TJX has only endured one year of comparable store sales decline, and enjoyed double-digit increases this past year in all three financial metrics examined in RIS News' Top 10 Department Stores rankings — stock price, revenue and profit — propelling it to a first-place finish.

#79 Tory Burch, CEO, Tory Burch
Burch is best known for ballet flats available in every color of the spectrum that helped launch the consumer goods and retail brand. Burch's products are available on the company's e-com site, in major retailers, and in a growing offering of Tory Burch branded retail locations.  The company is currently valued at over $3 billion, and Burch herself is a near-billionaire.

#93 Sara Blakely, founder, Spanx
Blakely is the founder and sole owner of Spanx, a women's shapewear brand. The entrepreneur turned a modest $5,000 investment into a $250-million-a-year empire. Blakely is the world's youngest self-made female billionaire, and is busy rolling out the brand's first standalone stores to complement its e-com and wholesale businesses.