America's Fastest-Growing Retailers

10. TJX Companies 
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 11.6%
> U.S. retail sales (2012): $19.4 billion
> Total stores (2012): 2,335
> 1-yr. store growth: 5.6%

The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) consists of U.S. retailers T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, which focus on selling consumers off-price, brand name apparel and furniture. The company is able to offer lower prices to customers by buying products at a discount from manufacturers and retailers that have to shed inventory. The company’s business model has been successful as customers have sought lower prices. TJX also recently moved further into e-commerce with its acquisition of online merchant Sierra Trading Post. In all, the United States accounted for close to 76% of the company’s total revenue, or $19.4 billion in sales, in 2012, according to Kantar Retail.

Also Read: The 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs in America

9. Dick’s Sporting Goods
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 12.0%
> U.S. retail sales (2012): $5.8 billion
> Total stores (2012): 601
> 1-yr. store growth: 7.1%

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc.’s (NYSE: DKS) retail sales jumped by 12% to more than $5.8 billion in 2012. Driving the sales improvement were a jump in same-store sales at both its Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy stores, as well as a 48.5% increase in online sales. Dick’s success is also partially dependent on the weather. Last December was unusually warm, which meant the company held more cold-weather goods in its stores than customers wanted. And once the retailer decided to unload those goods, the weather turned cold, which lead to both a missed opportunity and missed earnings estimates. The company also lost out on golf and camping sales in its most recent quarter due to abnormally wet weather.

8. Nordstrom
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 12.1%
> U.S. retail sales (2012): $11.8 billion
> Total stores (2012): 240
> 1-yr. store growth: 6.7%

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) operates department stores, discount stores and other specialty stores, as well as an online store. In addition to its retail business, which generated roughly $11.8 billion in sales in 2012, Nordstrom offers its own credit cards to customers to promote customer loyalty. The company’s discount business, Nordstrom Rack, has been the main growth driver. Effectively all the company’s planned openings for fiscal 2013 are Nordstrom Rack stores. However Nordstrom, like other retailers, has had to deal with cautious consumers spending — at all levels of income — in recent months.

7. Foot Locker
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 12.9%
> U.S. retail sales (2012): $13.5 billion
> Total stores (2012): 2,406
> 1-yr. store growth: -2.8%

Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) operates stores in North America, Europe and Australia. In fiscal 2012, Foot Locker’s sales totaled nearly $4.5 billion domestically and $6.1 billion globally. In early 2012, CEO Ken Hicks said the company was looking to increase sales partly by growing the number of stores it has by 60 or 70 each year. However, the total number of company stores actually shrank last year, as Foot Locker closed more stores than it opened. Hicks also stated the company was looking beyond shoes, notably at apparel, to further drive sales. The possible addition of apparel could have contributed to the company’s decision to remodel or move close to 200 stores last year.

6. Ross Stores
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 12.9%
> U.S. retail sales (2012): $9.7 billion
> Total stores (2012): 1,198
> 1-yr. store growth: 6.6%

Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) is an off-price retailer of apparel and home furnishings. Ross CEO Michael Balmuth told MarketWatch that, as an off-price retailer, the company is able to buy goods at a discount from other retailers’ inventories, which gives it “the flexibility to buy closer to when shoppers need things.” This flexibility was cited by the company as a major reason for its record sales and earnings in fiscal 2012, when retail sales jumped to $9.7 billion — a 12.9% rise from the year before. Also, while major teen retailers have struggled to adjust to young consumers’ changing tastes, Ross Stores views this group as an opportunity to expand.

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