Special Report

10 Most Popular Stores in America

7. CVS
> Pct. of Americans visiting in March: 21.85%
> Number of U.S. stores: 7,775
> Store category: Health & medicine

CVS, the massive retail pharmacy chain based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, has roughly 200,000 employees in approximately 7,800 stores located around the country. In March, 21.85% of American shoppers visited one of the locations. Last year, the company made headlines by deciding to cease all tobacco sales, citing the paradox of being a health services provider and selling products like cigarettes. Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO, explained, “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

6. Target (NYSE: TGT)
> Pct. of Americans visiting in March: 23.83%
> Number of U.S. stores: 1,790
> Store category: Shopping

While Target’s investment in Canadian markets in 2011 ended in failure — the company took a $5.4 billion writedown on the international venture — the retailer is still among the most popular stores in the U.S. Nearly 24% of American consumers visited a Target at least once in March. Large advertising spending may help keep the retailer’s visitation volumes high. Target spent roughly $1.7 billion on advertising in 2013, one of the 100 largest annual marketing budgets of all U.S. companies.

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5. Walgreen Co.
> Pct. of Americans visiting in March: 28.53%
> Number of U.S. stores: 8,188
> Store category: Health & medicine

Walgreen Co. is one of several drug retailers among the most popular stores in America. Pharmaceutical drug use has been on the rise in recent years, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects health-related jobs to grow faster than almost any other occupation. As one of the world’s largest health products retailers, Walgreen Co. will likely continue to benefit from its position in the industry. The company spent roughly $526 million on advertising in 2013 — among the 100 largest such expenditures nationwide — which also likely helped maintain the store’s popularity.