The Fastest Growing Retailers in the U.S.

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

In the ultra-competitive modern marketplace retailers are either growing or dying ― expansion has been and remains the ultimate measure of success. It is one thing to show growth over a quarter or even a year, but retail’s truly successful show sales growth year, after year, after year.

24/7 Wall St. has analyzed data from the National Retail Federation and unveiled the “World’s 25 Fastest Growing Retailers” list. The financial news organization reviewed the NRF’s retail revenue growth data (2010-2015) on the 250 retailers the NRF examines for its annual 250 largest retailers report. Interestingly, three of the eight U.S.-based retailers on the list are grocers, signifying that although the segment is currently undergoing upheaval and deflation, success can be had by those retailers willing to invest.

The entire list of the 25 fastest growing retailers around the globe is available here. Below is a quick look at the eight U.S.-based retailers that made the list.

Albertsons Companies. The massive grocer has revenue north of $60 billion and investors have been waiting for the grocer to enter the public sector with its first IPO. While the grocer continues to show massive year-over-year growth it is not simply stacking its fortune and resting on its laurels. In fact, it is rumored that Albertsons is interested in acquiring organic grocer Whole Foods which would further fatten its bottom line. Five-year annual sale growth: 74.1%.

Sprouts Farmers Market. Over the past five years the natural and organic grocer has not only seen annual sales grow by nearly 50%, but its store count swell as well, with no end in sight. In Q1 2017 Sprouts  opened eight new locations (32 are planned for the year), including its first foray into Florida and North Carolina. Five-year annual sale growth: 47.4%.

Southeastern Grocers. SE Grocers is the parent company of BI-LO, Harveys, Winn-Dixie and Fresco y Más and is one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S. The retailer aims to stay on-trend across its banners, evident by its plan to launch three new private label brands in 2017, which will include 3,000 new and rereleased products. Five-year annual sale growth: 34.6%.

Apple/Apple Retail Stores. While Apple products continue to be synonymous with ease of use and quality craftsmanship, selling millions of units worldwide through a host of retail partners, the company also has a thriving direct-to-customer business anchored by their innovative Apple Stores. In Q2 2017 Apple’s direct-to-customers sales in its stores and online increase 18%, with visitors increasing 16%. Five-year annual sale growth: 23.4%.

NIKE/Direct-to-Consumer. The Nike brand’s profitability continues to grow worldwide ― in Q3 2017 alone the manufacturer and retailer saw sales increase 5% to $8.4 billion. It direct-to-customer channel continues to increase as well thanks to the retailer’s continued investment in the digital experience. Five-year annual sale growth: 22.3%.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance. Ulta and rival Sephora have quickly cornered the mainstream cosmetics market thanks to their innovative use of cutting-edge technology that connects with their core Millennial shopper base. In fiscal 2016 Ulta increased top-line growth by 23.7% and earnings growth by 30.9%, primarily due to a 56.2% growth in e-commerce. The beauty retailer recently announced several new initiatives for fiscal 2017. It plans to open its sixth distribution center, in Fresno, CA, that will increase distribution capabilities to its California locations, where roughly 10% of Ulta stores are located. Five-year annual sale growth: 22.1%.

Dollar Tree. The five-year analysis puts Dollar Tree’s annual sales growth at over 20%. However is Q4 2016 sales increased just 5% to $5.64 billion, while net income for the quarter increased 40.5% to $321.8. To facilitate all this growth the retail is investing $110 million to build a 1.2-milion square-foot distribution center in Warrensberg, MO which is expected to process around 150 to 200 inbound and outbound trucks per day. Five-year annual sale growth: 21.4%.

Amazon. The last retailer named on the list is arguably the most powerful merchant in the industry today. Amazon not only is dominating the e-commerce segment but it is rolling out innovation after innovation (Amazon Go, AmazonFresh, Alexa), that will keep the online giant growing for years to come. Five-year annual sale growth: 20.8%.

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