Special Report

20 Most Popular Stores in America

Source: Anthony92931 / Wikimedia Commons

5. Walgreens (Nasdaq: WBA)
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April: 35.1%
> Number of U.S. stores: 8,184
> Latest annual revenue: $117.4 billion
> Net income: $4.2 billion
> Store category: Drug retail

Pharmacy and convenience store chain Walgreens has some 8,184 retail locations nationwide. Most of Walgreen’s annual sales, $83.8 billion, came from its retail pharmacy operations in the US. The pharmacies in Walgreens stores accounted for 67% of the sales in the segment, and its retail pharmacy department, the sales of health-related over-the-counter goods, accounted for the remaining 33%. Walgreens also fills prescriptions for Medicaid assistance programs in many states. Revenues from these programs accounted for 4% of 2016 sales in the segment. More than one in three Americans set foot in a Walgreens last month.

Source: 4028mdk09 / Wikimedia Commons

4. Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX)
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April: 35.5%
> Number of U.S. stores: 13,172
> Latest annual revenue: $21.3 billion
> Net income: $2.8 billion
> Store category: Restaurants

U.S. consumers spent an estimated $74.2 billion on coffee in 2015 — and Starbucks is one of a few companies on this list that benefitted. Starting with a single store in 1971, the Seattle-based coffee company is now one of the most popular stores in the country, attracting some 35.5% of the U.S. population in the last month. Starbucks has some 13,172 U.S. locations and thousands more around the world.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. Subway
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April: 39.0%
> Number of U.S. stores: 26,362
> Latest annual revenue: N/A
> Net income: N/A
> Store category: Restaurants

With about 41,500 stores worldwide, including over 26,000 U.S. locations, there are more Subway restaurants than any other restaurant chain. Domestically, the sandwich shop is quite popular, attracting 39% of Americans in a April, up from 34% in the same month last year. With increasingly health-conscious customers concerned about the growing obesity epidemic, Subway’s popularity grew dramatically from 5,000 locations in 1990 to 30,000 less than 20 years later. The strategy may be weakening, as Subway closed approximately 359 U.S. locations in 2016, the largest number of closings by the company in its history.

2. McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD)
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April: 54.8%
> Number of U.S. stores: 14,155
> Latest annual revenue: $24.6 billion
> Net income: $4.7 billion
> Store category: Restaurants

Nearly half of American consumers visit McDonald’s in a given month, making the fast food chain the most visited restaurant and the second most popular store in the United States. Popularity is usually a strong indication of business success, but while McDonald’s remains one of the most successful companies in the U.S., sales have been flat in recent years. Nationwide sales at the burger chain have declined in recent years, falling from $27.4 billion in 2014, to $25.4 billion in 2015, and to $24.6 billion in 2016. While foot traffic likely declined over the same period, McDonald’s rank has not changed for several years. According to a recent American Consumer Satisfaction Survey, the fast food chain provides the worst service compared to 16 other limited-service restaurants.

1. Walmart (NYSE: WMT)
> Pct. of consumers visiting in April: 56.4%
> Number of U.S. stores: 4,672
> Latest annual revenue: $481.3 billion
> Net income: $13.6 billion
> Store category: Hypermarkets and Supercenters

Most American consumers visit a Walmart location in a given month. Walmart is by far the largest retailer both domestically and globally. The retail giant reported net sales of $481.3 billion last year, up from $478.6 billion in 2015 — a larger revenue than the GDP of most countries. While foot traffic tends to fluctuate over the course of the year, Walmart’s position at the top of this list has been undisputed for many years. According to the company, more than 260 million people visit its 11,695 worldwide stores every week. No U.S. retailer is more popular than Walmart.