Stores' Top 100 Retailers of 2013
Ranked by 2012 U.S. sales (In billions)
1. Wal-Mart $328.70
2. Kroger $92.17
3. Target $71.96
4. Costco $71.04
5. The Home Depot $66.02
6. Walgreens $65.01
7. CVS Caremark $63.69
8. Lowe's $49.37
9. Safeway $37.53
10. McDonald's $35.59
11. Amazon.com $34.42
12. Best Buy $34.41
13. Sears Holdings $30.73
14. Macy's $27.61
15. Publix $27.49
16. SUPERVALU $27.46
17. Ahold USA/Royal Ahold $25.85
18. Rite Aid $25.39
19. Apple Stores/iTunes $24.00
20. TJX $19.42
Bricks-and-mortar stores still dominate U.S. retail sales, but online-only retailer Amazon.com is gaining on them, according to Stores' Top 100 Retailers of 2013.
The ranking, which lists retailers based on companies' annual retail sales, shows that Walmart, Kroger, Target, Costco and Home Depot were the top five retailers in 2012 when it came to retail sales. However, one online-only retailer — Amazon.com — rose from 15th place to 11th after a 30.4 percent increase in sales. Apple, including iTunes, also broke into the top 20 retailers this year with about a 35 percent increase in sales.
Besides Amazon, only one other online-only retailer made the list — Dell — which reported an 8 percent decrease in sales and ranked 83rd.
Increasingly, though, the lines between physical and online stores are being blurred. Rob Simon, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor of marketing, said he expects rapid growth from Amazon as it aims to add grocery delivery and, eventually, same-day delivery. At the same time, Simon said, Walmart, first on the list, is ramping up its e-marketing and online sales.
“That will be an interesting competition there to see what goes on between the two of them,” Simon said.
» High- and low-end grocery retailers seem to be growing faster than those with midrange price points. “The really high-end groceries ... are showing some good growth,” Simon said. The same is true for high-end apparel retailers, such as Nordstrom, which reported a 12 percent increase in sales in 2012. On the other side, stores with lower price points such as Family Dollar Stores and Dollar General also showed significant increases in sales. “Medium-range (retailers) were doing OK, but they weren't seeing the growth the high-end and low-end were showing,” he said.
» Apple's growth was “phenomenal,” Simon said, in both bricks-and-mortar stores and in its online iTunes store. “They are now doing $6,000 per square foot in retail stores, which is the highest in the U.S. by far. The next closest is Tiffany & Co.”
» Simon said Costco's 10.6 percent growth — ranked No. 4 on the list — was impressive.
“They only added about 2.4 percent more stores. Costco really stood out to me.”
» Hy-Vee, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, made the list at No. 85. The grocery chain is shown with a sales decrease; consultants said they omitted the chain's stand-alone fuel and convenience store and non-retail operations. A Hy-Vee spokeswoman said its 2012 overall sales actually were up and amounted to $7.7 billion, which would have ranked it No. 54.
» Of the top 100 retailers, J.C. Penney reported the greatest decrease in sales: 24.7 percent.
» Many retailers that made the list — Macy's, Nordstrom, Ikea and Neiman Marcus, for example — do not have stores in Iowa or Nebraska.