Cover Story: The 100 Fastest Growing Retailers 2010-2011
Who says direct response television (DRTV) is dead? Despite rumors of its demise, QVC, a cross-channel retail and DRTV leader, is doing just fine, thank you.
The West Chester, Pa.-based company, owned by Liberty Media, produces live programming that showcases more than 1,000 products each week; employs more than 17,000 people worldwide; and, to date, approximately 60 million people have shopped with QVC worldwide. The company's online component, QVC.com, was founded in 1996 and attracts more than 6 million unique visitors each month. QVC experienced a number of mileseones in 2010, according to its website, including the following:
- QVC had its largest Christmas in July sale in the company's 24-year history. With more than $46.5 million in orders, the company enjoyed a 14 percent increase over last year's event.
- QVC had its most successful Black Friday to date, with more than $42 million in sales.
- QVC.com achieved its highest traffic volume in its 14-year history this past Cyber Monday, attracting 2 million sessions from more than 1.4 million unique visitors. On average, the website generates approximately one-third of QVC's orders. On Cyber Monday, it accounted for nearly half of the company's total U.S. sales for the day. — Melissa Campanelli
#77 eBay Inc.
Boasting more than 94 million active users globally and a total worth of goods sold on the site of $62 billion in 2010, eBay's impact on e-commerce is profound. eBay increased its sales 4.91 percent in 2010, and it's not planning on slowing down any time soon. In fact, its 2011 first-quarter results show a 16 percent increase to $2.5 billion.
So far in 2011 (and December of 2010), eBay has acquired interactive marketing services provider GSI Commerce, local shopping startup Milo, charity site MissionFish, mobile app service WHERE, online shopping club brands4friends and Turkey's premier online marketplace GittiGidiyor. Courtney Love, Tommy Hilfiger and FAO Schwarz have recently launched eBay stores, just to name a few. The company has also launched a number of different social media initiatives.
On top of all that, eBay's main focus in 2011 appears to be the mobile space. The company is forecasting that it will double its mobile sales to $4 billion this year. eBay's iPhone app has been downloaded more than 15 million times (as of press time). The retailer also plans on launching more apps based on consumers' interests, including fashion, electronics, motors, and home and garden.
According to eBay's website, other notable 2010 achievements include the following:
- mobile holiday shopping on eBay peaked on "Mobile Sunday," bringing in $5 million in revenue;
- Cyber Monday saw online and mobile sales increases of 146 percent year-over year; and
- Black Friday showed a rise in online and mobile sales of 27 percent. — Meredith Cunningham
#91 Dover Saddlery
Founded in 1975 by U.S. equestrian team members Jim and David Powers, Dover Saddlery is a cross-channel retailer of English horse tack, horse supplies and riding apparel for horses and riders. Dover Saddlery sells its products via catalog, an e-commerce website and company-owned brick-and-mortar stores. To call it a niche brand is almost an understatement, but that hasn't impeded its growth.
Littleton, Mass.-based Dover Saddlery prides itself on having a knowledgeable staff that knows equestrian sports, in large part because they're riders themselves. Combine that with the fact that Dover Saddlery is engrossed in the equestrian community — it frequently works with world-class competitive riders to develop its products — and it's easy to see why the brand has become a go-to source for equestrians across the country.
Here's a look at some of the numbers to back up that claim:
- net income for fiscal 2010 increased 126 percent to $2.0 million from $0.9 million for fiscal year 2009;
- retail store revenues increased 4.8 percent to $26.0 million;
- same-store sales increased 2.9 percent;
- Dover Saddlery plans to open two to four new stores this year and four to six more new stores in 2012;
- direct marketing sales increased 1.6 percent to $52.1 million; and
- adjusted EBITDA for the 2010 fiscal year increased 25.3 percent to $5.1 million from $4.1 million in 2009. — Joe Keenan