Discounters, Dollar Stores Rise in Top 100 Retailers List

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Washington—Consumers looking for lower prices and bargains helped move up discounters and especially dollar stores in the latest Top 100 Retailers list released today.

While it’s no surprise that Walmart (No. 1), Target (No. 3) and Sears/Kmart (No. 9) continue rank highest, discount and dollar stores jumped up the charts as they became more attractive destinations for American shoppers who faced tighter budgets due to the recession.

The Top 100 Retailers, compiled by and analyzed for Stores magazine by Kantar Retail, ranks retailers by their U.S. retail sales instead of overall corporate revenues. This year the list eliminated most gas/fuel stations and other non-retail sales.

Among the stores rising in the ranks are: Dollar General (No. 28) climbed seven spots, boasting year-over-year revenue growth of 12.8% from 2009 to 2010. North Carolina-based Family Dollar (No. 45) moved up from No. 56 in 2009 and Dollar Tree (No. 61) jumped 15 spots.

“Transformational changes” are lifting traffic and sales at Target (No. 3), which climbed from No. 5 last year. Walgreen (No.4), which has a presence in all 50 states, also jumped two places.

Spots seven through 10 mirror the rankings from last year’s Top 100 list, proving the shaky economy couldn’t budge the well-known brands of CVS Caremark (No. 7), Lowe’s (No. 8), Sears Holdings (No. 9) and Best Buy (No.10).

Walmart: Unstoppable at No. 1

“As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart’s U.S. sales are nearly four times larger than number two Kroger, so it’s hard to imagine a list without Walmart at the top anytime in the foreseeable future,” explained Mary Brett Whitfield, senior vice president at Kantar Retail. “However, as IKEA’s debut (No. 92) and the movement of the small-format value retailers indicates, there is still plenty of opportunity for the rest of the list to be reshaped as for the rest of the list to be reshaped as the retail landscape evolves.”

Department Stores Improving

Although consolidations and closures leave fewer leading department stores in the list, this retail channel, where apparel and accessories comprise the major share of sales, saw improvement from 2008. Thomas Reuters, in fact, says U.S. department store same-store sales have risen 5.3% this spring, the best among all retail channels. Leaders include Macy’s (No. 15), JCPenney (No. 19), Kohl’s (No. 20), and Nordstrom (No. 38). Interestingly these stores are all pursuing exclusive and limited edition private label and brand collections. According to NPD, private label has increased in the department stores to 41%, up from 8% just five years ago.

Top 10 Rankings


1. Wal-Mart

2. Kroger

3. Target

4  Walgreen

5. The Home Depot

6. Costco

7. CVS Caremark

8. Lowe’s

9. Sears Holdings

10. Best Buy

The complete list of the Top 100 Retailers.

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