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Mass Merchants, Grocers Top Nation’s Largest Retailers List

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Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 10:12 am

The nation’s largest retailers, as ranked by the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) STORES Magazine, as well as Kantar Retail, have collectively held their top spots thanks to one common denominator: a customer-centric, omnichannel focused business model. The annual ranking of U.S. retailers by domestic sales, is featured in the July issue of STORES Magazine. The report was sponsored by Island Pacific and NEC.

“The biggest retailers continue to get bigger because they embrace change,” says Susan Reda, editor of STORES Media. “Every one of the top companies maintains a razor-sharp focus on addressing shifting consumer behaviors and is embracing changes in technology—in particular the digital landscape. It’s an amazing time to be in retail.

Walmart Stores (1), The Kroger Co. (2), Costco (3), The Home Depot (4), Walgreens (5), Target (6), CVS Caremark (7), Lowe’s Corp. (8) and Amazon.com (9) have largely kept their spot in the top 10 in recent years, likely a result of their keen ability to connect with their savvy customers. Omnichannel strategies such as buy online-pick up in store, direct-to-customer fulfillment, same-day shipping and mobile shopping have transformed the shopping experience and boosted sales in both physical and e-commerce spaces.

“Both the top 10 and the rapid climbers in the top 100 show a commitment to innovation in both the physical and digital worlds,” says Bryan Gildenberg, Kantar Retail’s chief knowledge officer. “For most of these retailers save Amazon, well over 90 percent of their business is still store-based, so omnichannel innovation needs to be integrated into the store and the online experiences seamlessly. In particular, innovations in format and store design, value communication and shopper engagement across all channels are key to growth and success.”

As The Kroger Co. takes takes the top spot in the supermarket category, others making that category’s “Power Players” list include: Safeway, Publix, Ahold USA/Royal Ahold, H-E-B, Albertsons, Delhaize America, Wafefern/ShopRite, Whole Foods, Aldi, Supervalu, Bi-Lo and Trader Joe’s (see chart above).

New additions, big shifts in top 100

The purchase of U.S. luxury brands Saks Inc. and Lord & Taylor put Hudson’s Bay Co. (80) on the list for the first time. The Canadian-based department store operator reported 2014 U.S. sales grew 254 percent to $5.1 billion from the previous year.

Casual dining chains Domino’s (94) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (96) also joined the top 100 list for the first time; Domino’s reported that U.S. sales grew 9.2 percent in 2014, while Chipotle boasted growth of 27.9 percent during that time.

California-based Jack in the Box (84), with 2,888 locations and $4.7 billion in sales, also was ranked for the first time on the top 100.

Several companies that have appeared on the list for the last few years have shifted rank. Wegmans Food Markets grew from 62 on the list last year to 57 in 2015; Missouri-based O’Reilly Automotive rose from 65 last year to 58 in 2015. Sherwin-Williams moved up seven spots to 68 and Dick’s Sporting Goods, whose sales increased 9.2 percent in 2014, moved to No. 62 on the list from 69 the previous year.

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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