The Hot 100 list of fastest-growing retailers, compiled by research firm Kantar Retail and published in the August issue of National Retail Federation’s STORES, is based on sales growth in 2016 over 2015 and ranks both public and privately held retail companies by U.S. domestic sales, with a $300 million threshold for inclusion.
Topping the list is subscription meal kit company Blue Apron, which has delivered more than 150 million meals since it was founded five years ago and saw annual sales grow a dramatic 133 percent to $795.4 million in 2016.
Also included are No. 6 convenience store operator CST Brands, up 29 percent at $2.1 billion; No. 8 supermarket and department store chain Grupo Comercial Chedraui, up 27 percent at $1.5 billion; No. 9 supermarket chain Gelson’s Markets, up 26 percent at $723 million; and No. 10 online giant Amazon.com, up 25 percent at $77 billion.
Online companies make up six of the top 10 companies, but the majority of retailers on the full Hot 100 list are either traditional retailers or retailers that sell both in-store and online. Fewer than 10 companies are pureplay ecommerce.
“This year’s Hot 100 confirms once again that retail growth is coming from a number of places, including less traditional channels in the industry,” says Kantar Retail chief product strategy and marketing officer Andrew Stockwell. “While a tremendous amount of volume is still generated from big boxes, retail channels such as online, discount, club, drug and convenience are powering accelerated growth.”
Fourteen retailers are recognized as “sustained sizzlers” for having made the National Retail Federation’s Hot 100 list each year since its inception in 2006. The list includes sales growth since 2011, including No. 1 Amazon.com (192 percent sales growth), No. 2 Aldi (42 percent) and No. 3 Dollar General (48 percent).