Amazon Leads Retailer Growth With 852% Rise

August 6, 2014 by Douglas A. McIntyre

If the case has not been proven that e-commerce has crushed the growth of traditional retail, a new study shows that the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) posted 852% growth between 2005 and 2013 to $44 billion. The closest competitor for revenue improvement was Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), which relied on M&A to improve its revenue by 366% to $4.7 billion. But that means it did not rely on organic sales for its improvement.

Few well-known, branded retailers were anywhere near the top of the 2014 STORES Hot 100 Retailers report published by the National Retail Federation. Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) made the list with growth of 196% from 2005 to 2013 to $2.9 billion. J. Crew, which may go public, posted growth of 158% to $2.4 billion. Most of the other retailers that have had rapid growth over the period were niche retailers, including Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) with sales that rose 137% to $6.2 billion, Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) — which is going through the M&A process itself — with an increase of 126% to $7.7 billion, and O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: ORLY), which posted an increase of $225% to $6.6 billion. Missing from the list are companies like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT). Even when the study measured one-year growth from 2012 to 2013, the largest retailers where not on list of the top 100 by growth at all.

Another wonder is that over the 2012 to 2013 period very few online retailers made the growth list. Overstock.com Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) was 17th with a growth rate of 18.6% to $1.3 billion. Internet growth rates for e-commerce companies show that there is Amazon, and then there is everyone else.

Nothing on the 2014 STORES Hot 100 Retailers list should be of much encouragement to the traditional retail industry. Amazon is on its way to sales of $100 billion, which would, by most measures, make it the second largest retailer in the United States. Even at that level, it is likely to be expanding revenue by roughly 20% a year. Wall Street may not favor the company because of recent losses and small margins. However, it cannot fault Amazon’s effort to slice its way through the entire industry, because it has worked.

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