Special Report

The Most Popular Stores in America

10. Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR)
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April:
> Number of U.S. stores: 13,626
> Store category: Variety stores

An estimated 19.1% of American consumers visit a Dollar Tree in a given month. Women make up 61.5% of those visitors, by far the most of any stores reviewed. Shim noted that the relatively gender-based popularity of Dollar Tree could suggest women are more value conscious. Or, since Dollar Tree products are frequently household staples, it suggests women perhaps more often shop for such items.

Dollar Tree completed its acquisition of former rival Family Dollar on July 6, 2015. As a result, the company’s store count jumped from 5,367 in its fiscal 2014 to 13,626 in fiscal 2015. Similarly, Dollar Tree’s 2015 net sales of $15.5 billion were 80% higher compared to its $8.6 billion in net sales the previous year.

9. Burger King
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April:
> Number of stores: 15,003 (worldwide)
> Store category: Restaurants

Food is an everyday necessity and for many Americans, fast food restaurants provide a relatively cheap and reliable meal option. Burger King is one such restaurant, and with multiple locations in every state, it is one of the most popular stores in the country. In a given month, 19.2% of American consumers go to Burger King at least once, more than all but a handful of national chains. As is the case with many of the most popular stores in the country, Burger King spends a great deal on advertising. The company spent $237 million on marketing in 2014, which put it among the 75 biggest advertising spenders in the country.

8. Taco Bell (NYSE: YUM)
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April:
> Number of U.S. stores: 6,121
> Store category: Restaurants

Along with Pizza Hut and KFC, Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands. Domestically, Taco Bell is the most popular division of the company, attracting 19.3% of American consumers in a given month. Taco Bell’s relative popularity may not be surprising considering its advertising budget. Yum! Brands spent $356.6 million on Taco Bell marketing in 2014, over $100 million more than its marketing budgets for either Pizza Hut or KFC the same year. Among all American companies, Taco Bell ranks 35th for its advertising spending.

> Pct. of consumers visiting in April:
> Number of U.S. stores: 9,655
> Store category: Drug stores

In December 2015, CVS acquired the pharmacy and clinic division of Target Corporation. With Target an even more popular store than CVS, the pharmacy chain may see increased popularity in the future. Of the 9,655 CVS locations in the United States, 1,672 are located within a Target shopping center. While most CVS stores offer a wide range of products typically found at convenience stores, CVS locations in Target stores only sell prescription drugs and certain over-the-counter medication.

CVS became in 2014 the first major franchise drug store to discontinue cigarette sales. While losing all of its tobacco customers in the process, the company sought to improve its popularity by promoting its focus on health.

6. Target (NYSE: TGT)
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April:
> Number of U.S. stores: 1,792
> Store category: Variety stores

Target is one of the most frequented stores in the country. In a given month, slightly more than a quarter of American consumers visit a Target shopping center. The store’s popularity is partially attributable to its advertising budget. The company spent $667.9 million on advertising in fiscal 2015, enough to rank among the top advertising spenders in the country that year. With locations in every state in the country except for Vermont, many Americans have relatively easy access to a Target store.

Many of the most popular stores in the country sell everyday products such as food. Target broadened its appeal in 1995 when it opened its first SuperTarget, a Target store that includes a grocery department. Today, the majority of Target locations also sell groceries.

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