Targeted Merchandise and Omnichannel Initiatives Continue to Help Retailers Grow, According to STORES Magazine Top 100

STORES/Kantar Retail Rank Top U.S. Retailers by Sales

WASHINGTON--()--The nation’s largest retailers, as ranked by STORES Magazine and Kantar Retail, have collectively held their top spots thanks to one common denominator: rethinking merchandise offerings while enhancing their omnichannel efforts. The annual ranking of U.S. retailers by domestic sales is featured in the July issue of STORES and was sponsored by Apex and Olapic.

“Retail’s balance of power resides firmly in the hands of the consumer, and forward-thinking merchants who embrace this ongoing shift are poised to recast the future,” STORES Media Editor Susan Reda said. “Merchants who conduct business in an every-channel-of-engagement-matters environment are the ones who cultivate loyal shoppers. They’re also the ones leading retail’s digital transformation.”

“Most of the retailers in the Top 10 have stayed there over the years and it’s likely a result of their constant ability to connect with savvy customers,” Reda said. “As retail has changed, they have embraced a wide range of omnichannel strategies that have transformed the retail experience with options like buy online with curbside pick-up, direct-to-customer fulfillment, same-day shipping, and personalized and mobile shopping.”

An area of note this year is growth seen in specialized niches with few head-to-head rivals or with fragmented competition from smaller regional chains. Chief among these is No. 71 Tractor Supply Co. with nearly 1,500 locations. Coming off a year in which sales increased 9 percent, Tractor Supply opened 2016 with a 10.2 percent sales boost in the first quarter.

Longtime Top 100 stalwart PetSmart is a strong player in a segment driven by a rising demand for senior, weight-management and special-needs pet products that approached $4 billion last year.

Aldi, the German-owned limited assortment grocer, jumped from No. 36 last year to No. 19, bumping Texas-based grocer H.E. Butt out of the top 20.

Other noticeable changes in this list are the success of dollar stores. Revenues in this niche segment have grown fast and the merger of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar positions Dollar Tree for additional growth as customers’ desire for convenience and low prices shows no signs of waning.

“Shoppers today are looking for stress-free shopping experiences,” Kantar Retail Senior Vice President Mary Brett Whitfield said. “Most of the retail operators in both the Top 10 and the rapid climbers in the Top 100 are innovating in ways that allow shoppers to simplify and streamline shopping routines. These efforts, as well as continuing to seek deeper shopper engagement across all connection points, are key to growth and success.”

For in-depth analysis on the retail power players and notable trends with the nation’s largest retail companies, read the complete article on

Rank   Store  

2015 U.S.


Sales Growth

1   Wal-Mart Stores   $353.1 Billion   2.8
2   The Kroger Co.   $103.9 Billion   0.8
3   Costco   $83.5 Billion   4.8
4   The Home Depot   $79.3 Billion   6.9
5   Walgreens Boots Alliance   $76.6 Billion   6
6   Target   $73.2 Billion   0.8
7   CVS Health   $72.2 Billion   6.2
8   $61.6 Billion   23.1
9   Albertsons   $58.4 Billion   4.8
10   Lowe’s Companies   $57.5 Billion   4.9

About the Survey

The STORES Top 100 Retailers are listed by U.S. sales, which may include estimates for private or closely-held companies. Retailers included in the Top 100 either have group headquarters located in the United States or are foreign entities with significant operations in the U.S. market. For retailers with group headquarters located overseas, data is presented for North American operations only. Revenues from major non-retailing operating segments are excluded where data availability allows.

About Kantar Retail

We are the retail and shopper specialists. We are a leading retail and shopper insight, consulting and analytics and technology business and part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP. We work with leading brand manufacturers and retailers to help them sell more effectively and profitably. At Kantar Retail we track and forecast over 1200 retailers globally and have purchase data on over 200 million shoppers. Amongst our market leading reports are the annual PoweRanking survey and the Digital Power Study. Kantar Retail works with over 400 clients and has 26 offices in 15 markets around the globe. For further information, please visit, or find us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About STORES Magazine

STORES Media is the publishing group of the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association. STORES Media offerings include STORES Magazine (print, digital and mobile versions) and STORES Weekly. STORES products report on the broad spectrum of strategic issues facing senior retail executives including retail technology, supply chain and logistics, credit and payment systems, loss prevention, human resources, omni-channel retailing, communications, marketing, merchandising and other vital store operations.


Download STORES Top 100 article and view complete list


National Retail Federation
Ana Serafin Smith, 855-NRF-PRESS


National Retail Federation
Ana Serafin Smith, 855-NRF-PRESS