The 7 Fastest Growing American Retailers

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
a man wearing a suit and tie

Today’s retail startup can quickly become tomorrow’s Fortune 500 darling with a little luck and the right strategic vision. Every year Inc. ranks the 5,000 fastest growing privately owned American companies. This year, software company Skillz came in first place in the coveted list, posted an incredible 50,059% growth over the past three years.

While no retailer broke into the top 10, did finish in 18th place overall and hundreds of retailers are featured throughout the ranking.

The entire report is available here. Below is a quick look at the seven retailers that turned in the highest growth rate according to Inc.’s research. The online marketplace for musical instruments came in 18th place overall in the ranking and was the only retailer to crack the top 20. Since its founding in 2012 the retailer has seen monumental growth in both revenue and size. The startup now employees over 100 and has revenue north of $15 million. The online marketplace also has a mobile app allowing musicians to buy and sell gear on the go. In addition, the site provides vital relevant content and video tutorials to make the site a destination beyond the sale and purchase of goods. Three-Year Growth: 12,327%.

Carvana. Carvana has introduced a completely new way to buy a car. While there are plenty of user-friendly websites and mobile apps for both buyers and sellers, Carvana is unique in that it sells only certified pre-owned vehicles and offers a seven-day money back guarantee. In addition, customers can sell their trade-in hassle-free with no inspection and can receive a quote in just a few minutes. The retailer was founded in 2013 and sports revenue of $360 million and over 1,000 employees. Three-Year Growth: 7,924%.

Lauren James Enterprises. Lauren James is a manufacturer and retailer of vintage inspired clothing for women. The Fayetteville, AR- based company employs more than 100 and sold over $13 million in goods in 2016. The site sports TrueFit technology so shoppers can locate the perfect size across all styles and garments the retailer carries. Shoppers only need to input a few crucial bits of information like height, weight, age, and examples of garments that fit them well and the advanced algorithm provides a group of garments that should fit the shopper best. Three-Year Growth: 6,009%.

The Elephant Pants. Elephant Pants is a bohemian brand of loose fitting pants, dresses and accessories, with a small staff of 11 and revenue around $5 million. The retailer was a contestant on the popular television series SharkTank and won a $500,000 investment it has used to help grow its business. The retailer’s hook goes beyond their unique styles and products and into its philanthropic efforts ― 10% of net profits are donated to organizations dedicated to saving elephants in the wild. Three-Year Growth: 4,582%.

Nine Line Apparel. The apparel brand/retailer sells patriotic inspired apparel and accessories. Two military veterans, one of their wives, and a civilian founded the company out of a garage and built it into a $14 million business in just five years. Its employee ranks have swelled from the four founders to over 150. Nine Line came in 85th overall in this year’s ranking, a drop from its 31st position in 2016. Three-Year Growth: 4,401%.

Shapes Secrets. Shapes Secrets is a shapewear retailer in the vein of the highly successful Spanx brand. However, unlike Spanx Shapes Secrets targets itself to Latin American women. In addition to its Latin American focus, the retailer also caters to the postpartum and post-surgery support market. The brand posted revenue of $4.2 million in 2016. Three-Year Growth: 4,056%.

S'well. S’well manufactures and sells trendy insulated beverage containers. The $99 million company was founded on the ideal of riding the world of disposable water bottles that often find their way into landfills or as litter on the side of the road. Seven years after its launch S’well is the fastest growing women owned company in the world. In addition, the retailer has pledged over $800,000 since 2015 to Unicef to help provide clean and safe water to the world’s most vulnerable communities. Three-Year Growth: 3,862%.

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