Special Report

America's Fastest-Growing Retailers

Alexander, Robert Serenbetz, Thomas C. Frohlich

10. Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX)
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 9.4%
> U.S. retail sales (2013): $9.6 billion
> Total U.S. stores (2013): 11,513
> 1-yr. store growth: 3.5%

The international coffee retailer Starbucks continues to benefit from innovative business strategies. Management went beyond coffee when it embarked on its growth strategy to develop its menu by adding fresh bakery options and a healthy juice line through the acquisitions of La Boulange and Evolution Fresh. More than 400 new stores also helped the company’s sales to grow by more than 9% in fiscal year 2013. Following its acquisition of Teavana last year, Starbucks now hopes to transform the $90 billion global tea business, much as it has the market for coffee.

9. Signet Jewelers
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 9.5%
> U.S. retail sales (2013): $3.6 billion
> Total U.S. stores (2013): 1,471
> 1-yr. store growth: 10.4%

Signet Jewelers became a retail jewelry powerhouse through a series of mergers and acquisitions. By 2013, the company consisted of Kay Jewelers, Jared, Ernest Jones and H. Samuel. Kay Jewelers and Jared make up more than 75% of Signet’s total sales. The company reported a 9.5% U.S. sales growth in 2013 compared to the year before. Last year, Signet Jewelers’ U.S. division operated 1,471 U.S. stores, an increase of 10.4% from the year before — the largest expansion among companies reviewed. Signet’s growth will likely continue, as it recently acquired Zale’s in February of this year. In addition, the company has plans to expand further into the bridal market.

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8. AT&T Wireless (NYSE: T)
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 10.2%
> U.S. retail sales (2013): $8.3 billion
> Total U.S. stores (2013): 2,179
> 1-yr. store growth: -5.3%

Telecom giant AT&T’s retail business generated more than $8 billion in equipment sales for the company in 2013, a 10.2% jump from the year before. This accounted for just a small share of the company’s revenue, which exceeded $128 billion last year and included roughly $70 billion from its wireless segment. Likely helping equipment sales, AT&T’s subscriber count rose 3.2% last year, which likely helped equipment sales. The company has also been rolling out a new store design throughout the U.S., which could further boost sales.