Do These Companies Represent the Future of Retailing?

The 10 Fastest-Growing Retailers in America (Time)

Fastest Growing RetailersThe National Retail Federation (NRF) is a trade association that supports all things retailing. The association offers a number of resources ranging from educational conferences to training services to political lobbying. Additionally, it publishes excellent industry reports. While access to some reports is restricted to association members, NRF does provide access to many others for free. One of the association’s key reports is its annual tally of top retailers, which is widely perceived as being a valuable measure of the state of retailing. Included in this report is information on retailer sales and number of stores operated. This report is available through the NRF’s Stores trade publication.

Time magazine has done a nice job analyzing this information. By sorting the Sales Growth column (all columns can be sorted), an interesting list of the top 10 fastest growing U.S. retailers emerges. The top spots are dominated by technology retailers, which is particularly reflective of how the retail industry is changing. At the top of the list are mostly non-store based, e-commerce sites including Amazon and Apple iTunes. But technology retailing is not confined to online. The rapid growth of mobile technology has resulted in Verizon and AT&T emerging as leading retailers.

After the technology group, this list moves back to more traditional retail models including convenience stores (7-Eleven and Circle-K’s parent company, Alimentation Couche-Tard) and specialty stores (Dick’s Sporting Goods and Tractor Supply Co.).

The story offers a brief but insightful overview of each retailer.

City dwellers may be surprised to find this name on the list, or may have never even heard of the store at all. This is because Tractor Supply Co. maintains a heavy presence in the rural sections of America’s more populous states, catering to both commercial and recreational farmers and ranchers.

What will become of the retailers, such as A&P, Wendy’s, Albertsons and Sears, who are at the bottom of Stores’ list of top retailers?

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