Cover Story: The 100 Fastest Growing Retailers 2010-2011
What follows is ROI's first annual listing of the fastest-growing retailers for the 2010 to 2011 fiscal year. Click on the Related Content link below for the full list. And as an added bonus, check out the fastest growing 100 retailers ranked by website traffic growth by clicking the Related Content link below.
We know that you're all interested in how your competition is doing, and since we hadn't seen a true ranking of cross-channel retailers year-over-year after a lot of research, we decided to roll up our sleeves, polish up our Excel spreadsheets and do it ourselves!
Here's what we did: First, we searched Yahoo Finance for all of the public retail companies in the United States. Then we went to the financial section of each company's website and found their 2010 (or in some cases 2011) net sales numbers. After we figured out the percentage change year-over-year, we ranked each company in ascending order and listed the top 100. We've also included some sidebars below that highlight specific companies on the list.
We believe that now is as good a time as any to compile this list. With retail sales increasing for the 10th straight month in April — according to numbers released by the National Retail Federation last month — there's evidence that retailers are on the front lines of an economic recovery. We're almost postive that their numbers will be even better next year, when we plan to do our second annual ranking.
If you have any questions about our list or our methodology, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. — Melissa Campanelli
Retail Group, Inc.
Reflecting a trend we've seen in consumer spending shifting to more value-conscious purchases and brands (see the growth of the dollar store sector), Ascena Retail Group, parent company of value-focused women's and tween girls apparel brands dressbarn, maurices and Justice, is the top growing public retailer for the past year.
Based in Suffern, NY, Ascena Retail Group's brands have an extensive brick-and-mortar store presence throughout the country: dressbarn offers casual, career and special occasion fashion apparel and accessories at value prices for women ages 35-55, operating 838 stores in 47 states; maurices offers casual and career apparel and accessories for fashion-conscious women ages 17-34, operating 758 stores in 44 states; and Justice offers trend-right apparel and accessories at value prices for tween girls ages 7-12 via 891 stores in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. All three brands have an e-commerce website.
Here are some highlights from Ascena Retail Group's 2010 fiscal year, according to its website:
- comparable store sales at Justice, maurices and dressbarn were up 17.5 percent, 6.1 percent and 6 percent, respectively;
- net earnings increased from $66,572,000 to $133,378,000 year-over-year; and
- 918 new stores were either acquired or opened. — Joe Keenan
The growth of e-books isn't stopping Barnes & Noble, the world's largest bookseller, from being on our list of the fastest-growing retailers.
The New York City-based company is a leading content, commerce and technology provider via books, magazines, newspapers and other content across its multichannel distribution platform. Barnes & Noble operates 705 retail bookstores in regional shopping malls, strip centers and freestanding locations in 50 states, as well as 636 college bookstores serving nearly four million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States.
BarnesandNoble.com stocks more than one million titles for immediate delivery. In 2009, Barnes & Noble also became a leader in e-books, offering more than one million titles in its e-book store and launching NOOK, an e-book reader.
Here are some highlights from Barnes & Noble's 2010 fiscal year, according to its website:
- Store sales increased 8.2 percent in the nine-week holiday period ending Jan. 1, 2011 over the prior year period. Comparable store sales increased 9.7 percent, marking the bookstore's best comparable store sales performance in more than a decade.
- The company sold virtually its entire inventory of NOOK Color and E Ink devices during the holiday season, while exceeding its sales plan for accessories associated with the NOOK product line.
- Company web sales increased 24 percent to $573 million for the year vs. the 12-month period that ended on May 2, 2009. — Melissa Campanelli
#38 Jos. A. Bank Clothiers,
Jos. A. Bank, a cross-channel retailer of men's tailored and casual clothing, sportswear, footwear, and accessories, saw an 11.40 percent increase in revenues from 2009 to 2010, helping it land at No. 38 on our list of the fastest-growing public retailers. However, with a growing presence of new competition, Jos. A. Bank can't afford to rest on its laurels. The company has launched new initiatives to stay one step ahead in 2011.
Just two days after J.C. Penney announced the launch of The Foundry, a new men's big and tall brand, Jos. A. Bank announced its partnership with FiftyOne Global Ecommerce, a provider of a technology and services platform that enables U.S. retailers to market, sell and fulfill merchandise internationally, as part of its plan to launch international sales programs. In addition, the company has paired with 5th Finger, a mobile marketing technology firm, to help it offer a mobile shopping experience for its customers. Jos. A. Bank is also taking advantage of the daily-deal craze by offering coupons on Dealtaker.com.
Here are some highlights from Jos. A. Bank's latest fiscal year:
- Net income increased 21 percent to a company record $85.8 million, as compared with net income of $71.2 million for the fiscal year ended Jan. 30, 2010.
- Comparable store sales increased 7.0 percent during fiscal year 2010, and direct marketing sales jumped 24.4 percent.
- The company has now reported earnings growth in 37 of the past 38 quarters when compared to the respective prior year periods, including 19 quarters in a row. — Meredith Cunningham
#60 ANN INC.
Hopefully a new name won't slow down the momentum the former Ann Taylor Corp. was building in its latest fiscal year. With two brands — Ann Taylor and LOFT — under its umbrella each operating across three channels, the company decided to change its name to ANN INC. to reflect that it's much more than a store-based retailer.
"We have two distinct brands that enable us to reach our client whether she's making her purchases at our stores, online or at our factory outlet locations," said Kay Krill, ANN INC.'s president and CEO during the March conference call announcing the name change.
Whatever the corporate name, New York City-based ANN INC. enjoyed a successful 2010 fiscal year. Here are some of the highlights for the specialty retailer of fashionable women's apparel:
- positive comparable sales in every quarter of fiscal 2010, totaling a 10.7 percent increase for the year;
- sales at AnnTaylor.com and AnnTaylorLoft.com were up 54.3 percent and 65.3 percent, respectively; and
- net income for the year was $73,397,000 compared to a net loss of 18,208,000 in 2009. — Joe Keenan
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