National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

What the fastest-growing retailers have in common

By Michelle Graff

August 04, 2014

Washington--New products, innovative thinking and one-of-a-kind customer experiences are three traits the country’s fastest-growing retailers all share, Stores magazine’s annual list of “Hot” retailers shows.

Published each year in the August issue of Stores alongside the list of the Top 100 Retailers, the Hot 100 Retailers list consists of retail companies that reported the greatest year-over-year increase in U.S. sales. Public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible for consideration on the Hot 100 list, which is compiled by Kantar Retail.

Boise, Idaho-based grocery store chain Albertsons ranked No. 1, followed by home furnishings company Wayfair at No. 2, with an improved housing market boosting its sales. The Suffern, N.Y.-based Ascena Retail Group  placed at No. 3, a company operates more than 3,800 stores nationwide, encompassing nameplates such as Justice and Dress Barn.

Specialty jewelers that made the list were Helzberg’s Diamond Shops at No. 20 with 16 percent year-over-year growth in U.S. sales; Blue Nile at No. 31 with 12 percent sales growth; and Signet Jewelers at No. 57 with 7 percent sales growth.

Retailers that carry fine jewelry and ranked among the country’s fastest-growing include at No. 10, at No. 17, ValueVision Media (ShopHQ, formerly known as ShopNBC) at No. 43, TJX (T.J. Maxx and Marshalls) at No. 51, Burlington Coat Factory at No. 61, Neiman Marcus at No. 62 and warehouse retailers Costco (No. 91) and BJ’s Wholesale Club (No. 100).

“Hot retailers do things better than their competitors, and they’ve clearly carved out a proposition for the consumer,” said Bryan Gildenberg, Kantar Retail’s chief knowledge officer. “Part of that success is being at the right place at the right time with the right products, and the other part of it is being smart enough to know the differences in those factors between themselves and their competitors; in a slow-growth market like 2013, share gains equal growth.” is one of nine retailers who have made the Hot 100 list every year since the list’s inception in 2006. Its sales have grown 852 percent since 2006.

RELATED CONTENT: Amazon now among top 10 largest retailers in US

In addition, the Seattle-based online giant cracked the top 10 of the Top 100 Retailers list this year, making it the first pure-play online retailer to rank among the U.S.’s largest.

Ranking on that list for the first time this year was Signet Jewelers Ltd., which snuck in at No. 99 with $3.65 billion in U.S. sales.

Signet was the only specialty jeweler to make the list. The company’s acquisition of rival Zale Corp., which is expected to close by the end of the year, should boost its ranking on next year’s list.