7. Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM)
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 10.3%
> U.S. retail sales (2013): $12.5 billion
> Total U.S. stores (2013): 347
> 1-yr. store growth: 7.8%
As the NRF points out, grocery chains tend to grow relatively slowly because the industry is so decentralized. Walmart, for example, is perhaps the only grocery chain with a national presence. Whole Foods, which has made its name selling healthy, higher-value food products, may not be far behind. There were nearly 350 Whole Foods Markets in the U.S. last year, an 8% increase from the year before. This was among the highest store growths nationwide. Whole Foods announced a strategy several years ago to expand its store count to 1,000. The company’s U.S. sales were also exceptionally strong, growing 10.3% to nearly $12.5 billion in 2013.
6. Tractor Supply Co.
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 10.7%
> U.S. retail sales (2013): $5.1 billion
> Total U.S. stores (2013): 1,276
> 1-yr. store growth: 8.5%
Tractor Supply has rapidly expanded its U.S. store presence. There were 1,276 stores last year, up 9% from 2012, a larger increase than all but a few other companies reviewed by the NRF. According to some analysts, some of Tractor Supply’s success in recent years is due to its “Amazon-resistant” line of products, as baby chicks and tractors are difficult to ship. Like a few other companies on this list, part of Tractor Supply’s success may also be due in part to its movement into new markets. As of last year, perishable items, such as vegetables, herbs and fruit trees, were available in roughly 500 Tractor Supply stores, according to YCharts.
5. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)
> 1-yr. retail sales growth: 11.0%
> U.S. retail sales (2013): $26.6 billion
> Total U.S. stores (2013): 254
> 1-yr. store growth: 1.6%
Apple is one of the largest businesses in the world, with the highest market capitalization of any publicly traded company. In 2013, the company’s retail sales in the U.S. alone totaled $26.6 billion. Additionally, Apple has been praised for its groundbreaking strategies in different retail channels: brick-and-mortar retailing with the Apple Store, online with iTunes and on mobile devices with the App Store. But while retail is a critical part of Apple’s business, the company’s strength comes largely from its products. Last year, the company sold more than 150 million iPhones and over 71 million iPads, leading to global revenue of $170.9 billion.
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