Strategic segmentation, good strategy drive Hot 100 fastest-growing retailers

“This economic climate — paired with businesses that are strategically filling different retail niches and engaging customers through meaningful ways — is leading to sustained growth for the retailers on the list.”

Susan Reda
STORES Media Editor

WASHINGTON – Successful retail segmentation owed in part to skilled management and strategy rather than any particular game-changing innovation led companies to top the list of Hot 100 Retailers published today by the National Retail Federation’s STORES magazine.

“Strong consumer confidence and high job growth are leading consumers to spend more on big purchases like home buying, home improvements and even travel that drive retail spending,” STORES Media Editor Susan Reda said. “This economic climate — paired with businesses that are strategically filling different retail niches and engaging customers through meaningful ways — is leading to sustained growth for the retailers on the list.”

The Hot 100 list of fastest-growing retailers, compiled by research firm Kantar Consulting and published in the August issue of STORES, ranks both public and privately held companies by percentage of U.S. sales growth in 2017 over 2016, with a $300 million threshold for inclusion.

At No. 1 on the list, even though it has a fraction of the revenue of its top competitors, is clothing and accessories retailer Primark, which sells low-price, high-volume goods. The Dublin-based company has grown rapidly since opening its first U.S. store in 2015, with annual sales increasing 103 percent to $489 million in 2017.

Coming in second is outdoor sports and recreation retailer Bass Pro Shops, growing at 94 percent to $7.3 billion. At third is online home improvement and appliance retailer, which grew 47 percent to $1.3 billion due to a healthy housing boom and artificial reality-enabled product viewing. At No. 4 is Amazon, which grew 45 percent to $103 billion as it continued to tailor products to customers while expanding its online marketplace, adding physical stores and buying the Whole Foods supermarket chain. At No. 5 is online home goods retailer Wayfair, which grew 36 percent to $4.1 billion.

Following at No. 6 is handbag retailer Tapestry (previously known as Coach), which grew 33 percent to $3.6 billion; No. 7 pet goods and services retailer PetSmart, which benefitted from its acquisition of to increase 28 percent to $8.3 billion; No. 8 discount retailer Five Below, up 28 percent at $1.3 billion; No. 9 cosmetics and fragrance retailer Ulta Salon, up 28 percent at $5.9 billion; and No. 10 pet retailer Pet Retail Brands, up 27 percent at $1.3 billion. (While some retailers show the same percentage of growth due to rounding, the rankings are based on the exact percentage of growth.)

“As always, the Hot 100 is a compendium of the best strategies retailers are using to grow in this omnichannel world,” Kantar Consulting Chief Knowledge Officer Bryan Gildenberg said. “This year, the classic ‘four Ps’ of marketing have become the ‘four Ss’ — the Hot 100 use speed, seamlessness, specialization and scale by acquisition as their core platforms for growth.”

Five retailers are recognized as “sustained sizzlers” for having remained on the list each year since it was first published in 2006. The list below includes their average annual sales growth from 2012-2017 and current ranking:

  • – 25 percent (No. 4)
  • Tractor Supply Co. – 9 percent (No. 61)
  • Ross Stores – 8 percent (No. 41)
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods – 8 percent (No. 46)
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts – 8 percent (No. 90)

About Kantar Consulting
Kantar Consulting is driven to switch on growth. With over 1,000 analysts, thought leaders, software developers, and expert consultants, we help clients develop and execute brand, marketing, retail, sales, and shopper strategies to deliver growth. Kantar Consulting owns market-leading assets, including PoweRanking®; GrowthFinder; Global Monitor; Kantar RetaiI IQ; RichMix; XTEL; and Marketing, Insights, and Purpose 2020. We track 1,300 retailers globally; have purchase data on over 200 million shoppers; and forecast social, cultural, and consumer trends across the world. For further information please refer to: or

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.