Editor's Note: Chewy Tops List of 100 Fastest-Growing Retailers
For its latest research report, Top 100 Fastest-Growing Retailers, Total Retail conducted a year-over-year comparison of 2019 fiscal year net sales vs. 2018 fiscal year net sales for 160-plus publicly traded retailers, ranking the top 100. At the top of those rankings is Chewy.com, which is one of the newest companies added to the list, having filed its IPO in April 2019. The online retailer of pet food, products and supplies, which is owned by PetSmart, posted an impressive 37.19 percent increase in sales for its 2019 fiscal year.
In fact, of the top four companies on the Top 100 list, three are online-only brands — Chewy, Etsy (No. 3), and Wayfair (No. 4). This gives an indication of the where the industry is headed, with e-commerce spurring growth for retailers, while brick-and-mortar store sales lag behind. And this data was collected at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will only further boost e-commerce sales, and likewise drag down in-store revenues.
As for Chewy, a commitment to innovative thinking throughout its organization is paying off in the form of higher sales and more satisfied, loyal customers.
“Everyone at Chewy is dedicated to building a culture of innovation, empowerment, and not being afraid to fail,” says Diane Pelkey, vice president, communications and public relations at Chewy. “Our collection of high-performance individuals and teams takes ownership of an environment where customer centricity is king, idea generation is democratized, and thinking big (and executing) is rewarded. We embrace this challenge of transformation, while introducing industry-leading innovation and connecting with pet parents through moments of celebration, empathy and comfort.”
As for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, the vast majority of which have had to deal with the adverse effects the coronavirus has had on their businesses, including closed stores and subsequent sales losses, investing in their own digital transformations may very well be the key to their future success — and survival in some cases.
To not only survive but thrive in a retail environment that more than likely will bear no resemblance to what we’ve seen in years past, traditional retailers will have to masterfully integrate their customers’ online and offline shopping experiences. That's what’s necessary to compete with today’s leading online retailers, starting with Amazon.com, which are catering to customers’ desires for convenient, quick and, most recently, contactless shopping experiences.
What does that digital transformation look like? Given their rising popularity during the pandemic, it could be contactless shopping experiences for consumers, such as curbside pickup (powered by technology solutions that create transparent inventory counts across channels) or mobile payment options. Or it could be optimizing your website with the help of predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and other technologies that personalize the customer experience, leading to increased conversions from a growing segment of online shoppers. Bottom line: brands must be agile and able to listen to the demands of their customers, and then respond to them — frequently with the help of technology.
This brings us back to our Top 100 Fastest-Growing Retailers report. The top performers in this report are at the leading edge of the industry, willing and able to adapt to shifting consumer behaviors. This report is a testament to the value retailers are realizing by digitally transforming their businesses to best serve today’s consumers. It includes a data table detailing the 2019 fiscal year numbers for the top 100 retailers, as well as profiles of the top 10 companies on the list. The profiles offer a glimpse into how leading organizations in the industry have managed to grow sales through a variety of tactics, from international expansion to loyalty programs, to in-store investments and customer experience upgrades. These and other strategies could be right for your business to implement, helping to drive bottom line growth in 2020 and beyond.
Access the complimentary report here!
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Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.