Believe it or not, some retailers are growing even during sluggish economic times. The August issue of STORES magazine presents its third annual Hot 100 list, which highlights retailers that reported the greatest year-over-year revenue percentage growth last year.
The top three retailers in the Hot 100 grew by acquisition. No. 1-ranked CVS Caremark grew 74.2 percent while completing its first full year operating both drustore CVS and prescription benefits manager Caremark Rx.
Another drugstore, Rite Aid, No. 2 on the list, purchased Brooks Pharmacy units in New England and Eckerd on the East Coast and saw its revenues increase 39.8 percent.
No. 3 IHOP can link its 39-percent growth to its acquisition, last summer, of Applebee’s.
Moving on down the list:
No. 4 Amazon.com grew 38.5 percent by adding merchandise categories such as groceries and by innovating with products like Kindle, an electronic device that enables a user to download and read books in digital formats.
No. 5 American Apparel revenues increased by 35.8 percent thanks to its growth from three stores to nearly 200 in the past five years.
No. 6 GameStop, a video game retailer, tallied 33.4 percent growth by acquiring companies in Norway and New Zealand.
No. 7 BJ’s Restaurants, a brewery that specializes in deep-dish pizza, grew 32.3 percent. With more than half its eateries in California, BJ’s recently opened in the South and the Midwest.
No. 8 Chipotle chalked up a 31.9-percent increase in sales with only a 5.4-percent increase in the number of stores. The chain, know for burritos served with hormone-free meats, has nearly 750 restaurants in the United States. Opening its first Canadian locations this year, Chipotle is considering a European expansion, too.
No. 9 FTD, the flower people, increased its revenues by 31.8 percent by selling directly to consumers through its Web site and catalog, as well as through its network of 20,000 North American florists.
No. 10. Citi Trends, a value-priced family apparel retailer, grew 31.8. percent.