Under Armour, lululemon athletica, H&M Among Nation’s Fastest-Growing Retailers

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Specialty retailer Michael Kors moves up one spot to No. 2 on the Hot 100 Retail list.

Specialty retailer Michael Kors moves up one spot to No. 2 on the Hot 100 Retail list.

Washington–The list of the fastest-growing retailers this year tells a story of consumers’ growing affinity for fast-fashion and specialty  apparel. Stores Hot 100 Retailers list, published annually in the August issue of Stores magazine, consists of retail companies that reported the greatest increase in domestic sales between 2011 and 2012. All public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible for the list, which was compiled by Kantar Retail.

“This year’s Hot 100 features a series of retailers selling broad based solutions that resonate emotionally with shoppers,” said Bryan Gildenberg, Kantar’s retail chief knowledge officer. “Either through specialized expertise in stores like lululemon and Under Armour or by ease of access to a wide variety of products like Amazon, retailers are going beyond function to a more emotional connection as the key to rapid growth.”

With plans to increase its store footprint in China and the United States in the coming years and with a full e-commerce launch beginning today, No. 8 H&M joined the Hot 100 list for the first time. Sales at U.S. stores increased 20.7% from 2011, and the number of operating domestic stores increased 15.5% during that time as well.

Specialty apparel continues to heat up in the retail industry. With revenue increasing 63.2% from 2011, Michael Kors comes in at No. 2, up one spot from last year. lululemon athletica (4) and Under Armour (5), also known for their loyal fan bases and product offerings, mostly maintained their spots in the top 10 from last year.

Helzberg Diamond Shops climbed the Hot 100 list from No. 60 last year to No. 9 this year. Apple Stores/iTunes (5) and Amazon.com (7) round out the top 10. Topping the list is Bi-Lo, a Florida-based grocery store chain.

10 Who Demonstrate ‘Sustained Sizzle’

Smart merchandising, stellar customer service, expansion efforts and a cornering of a niche market have helped 10 retail companies maintain a place on the Hot 100 list each of the past eight years. Companies that have managed to stay hot include (rank based on average annual growth):

•    Amazon.com (7)

•    Ascena Retail Group (70)

•    O’Reilly Automotive (81)

•    Urban Outfitters (28)

•    J.Crew (11)

•    Tractor Supply Co. (46)

•    Dick’s Sporting Goods (32)

•    Dollar Tree (37)

•    Ross Stores (27)

•    PetSmart (41)

About the Survey

The Hot 100 Retailers list is the definitive annual ranking of the fastest-growing retail chains in the United States. Rankings are determined by increases in year-over-year domestic sales between 2011 and 2012. The Stores Hot 100 list was sponsored by Google Enterprise, Island Pacific and Kiva Systems LLC.Kantar Retail (www.kantarretail.com) is the world’s leading retail insights and consulting business.

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