Special Report

The World's 20 Fastest Growing Retailers

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20. Costco
> 2017-2018 sales growth: 9.7%
> 2017 revenue: $129.03 billion
> 2018 revenue: $141.58 billion
> Headquarters: Issaquah, Washington
> # of locations: 770

When Price Club merged with Costco back in 1993, the combined company took the membership warehouse concept to the next level. Costco’s latest financial results prove consumers do not mind paying a membership fee if they can get name-brand goods at cheap prices. In 2018, revenue increased to $141.6 billion from $129.0 billion in 2017. The company currently employs 245,000 workers.

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19. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
> 2017-2018 sales growth: 10.4%
> 2017 revenue: $769.03 million
> 2018 revenue: $849.04 million
> Headquarters: Lakewood, Colorado
> # of locations: 152

When Margaret and Philip Isely founded Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottages in 1955, the general public did not know much about organic foods. But an illness after the birth of her second child forced Margaret to learn all she could about good nutrition and natural foods. From there, Margaret and Philip began to educate the public on healthy eating and soon opened stores. Today, the Isely family still oversees a grocery empire that sells products with no preservatives, artificial colors, or hydrogenated oils. All of the chain’s products are certified organic by the USDA. In fiscal year 2018, Natural Grocers reported a 10.4% net sales increase, from $769 million in the prior year to $849 million.

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18. Guess Inc.
> 2017-2018 sales growth: 10.4%
> 2017 revenue: $2.36 billion
> 2018 revenue: $2.61 billion
> Headquarters: Los Angeles, California
> # of locations: 1,161

Known for its edgy, youthful appeal, Guess, Inc. has expanded from its roots as a jeans manufacturer in 1981 to a full-fledged lifestyle brand, hawking handbags, apparel, footwear, watches, and, yes, jeans. The retailer looks to continue its tradition of targeting a younger audience with a summer advertising campaign showing models on a road trip through the desert. It is a tactic that has served it well in the past and may have helped push its net revenues to $2.6 billion in fiscal 2018 from $2.4 billion in fiscal 2017.

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17. Skechers USA
> 2017-2018 sales growth: 11.5%
> 2017 revenue: $4.16 billion
> 2018 revenue: $4.64 billion
> Headquarters: Manhattan Beach, California
> # of locations: 3,000

What began as a manufacturer of logger boots in 1992 has grown into an expansive footwear company offering shoes for every gender and age. In the first quarter of this year, the company posted record sales of $1.28 billion. Net sales soared from 4.16 billion in 2017 to 4.64 billion in 2018.

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16. Sprouts Farmers Market
> 2017-2018 sales growth: 11.6%
> 2017 revenue: $4.66 billion
> 2018 revenue: $5.20 billion
> Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona
> # of locations: 300+ stores in 22 states

Launched in 2002, Sprouts Farmers Market quickly became one of the public’s preferred organic, natural foods store. Today the chain manages more than 300 stores employing 30,000 associates. The store format includes fresh produce, prepared entrees, a butcher shop, a fish market, and a vitamin supplement department. The company continues to expand, announcing in April the opening of 13 new stories in the second half of 2019 in Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, and California, growing its chain to 340 stories in 22 states. The retailer reported a net sales total of $5.2 billion in 2018, an 11.6% jump from the previous year.