Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Hot Top Retailers

The National Retail Federation (NRF) unleashed a Hot 100 Retailers report in its August 2008 issue. If I'd not been travel so much the last few months, I'd have shared some of this juice with you earlier!

The Tweens and Teens segment sales rose more than 13% in 2007--some due to store openings rather than operations or acquisitions. Most of the top spots in this category were occupied by usual suspects: Urban Outfitters (2), Aeropostale (3), The Buckle (4), Abercrombie & Fitch (6), and American Eagle Outfitters (7). The top spot went to a name that might be new to you and worth checking out: Zumiez. This mall-based skate/snow outfitter is online at and is sure to be setting some fashion trends in the skater genre and with those that want follow this popular look.

Obviously I share these retailers to urge you to check them out. See what they are selling, how they are merchandising, and what they offer in both store and online experience.

Other notables from the report include:
- American Apparel went from a 2006 loss to a healthy level of earnings in 2007. This was mostly a bookkeeping fix. The company actually had a 35.8% sales gain in 2007--maintaining its outlaw image and near-soft-porn promo angle.
- GameStop has seen a 285% revenue growth from 2004 to 2007. Note to college stores--gaming is STILL HOT!
- In the Sandwich/Beverage category, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread topped the list with 31.9 and 28.7% sales growth respectively. Read--consumers like quality, choice, personalized/customized products, and healthy eating.

Finally, it's worth noting the #1 retailer on the NRF list of Hot 100 Retailers--CVS. Yes, that corner drug store that some swear is in a race with Walgreens to overtake the entire planet! If you've not been in a CVS lately, check one out. If you can find a new concept store, even better. This retailer is turning the corner drug store into one of the fastest, easiest, and profitable shopping experiences around.

All for now!

--The Retail Muse

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