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Despite Economy, Largest Retailers Remain Power Players, According to STORES Report

Read complete STORES article and view complete list of top 100 retailers.

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 783-7971 or grannisk@nrf.com

Despite Economy, Largest Retailers Remain Power Players,
According to STORES Report

Washington, July 1, 2009 – In spite of economic uncertainties, many of the nation’s largest retailers held onto their coveted spots at the top of the retail ladder last year, according to an annual ranking of retailers by sales. The STORES Top 100 Retailers*, featured in the July issue of STORES magazine, ranks retailers by annual revenues as reported in SEC filings, public statements by the companies and estimates based on Planet Retail research.

“The economy hasn’t been a losing proposition for everyone, and retailers who have made it through this recession will be well positioned to grow in the future,” said Susan Reda, Executive Editor of STORES Magazine. ”As retailers shift their primary focus this year from expansion to core operations, companies who stay in tune with their customers will reap long-term rewards.”

As consumers grappled with high gas prices and shrinking home values in 2008, discount retailers and warehouse clubs became more appealing to penny-pinchers. Accordingly, Wal-Mart (#1), the world’s largest retailer, tops the list once again with revenues exceeding $405 billion in 2008. The company found much success with the re-launch of its Great Value line and attracted new customers because of the economic environment. With food sales throughout the country remaining steady even through the economic downturn, Target (#5) also bulked up food offerings in both traditional and SuperTarget stores, attracting budget-focused shoppers. Warehouse club Costco secured the number three (#3) spot this year with families looking to buy items in mass quantities to stay on budget.

Having been the first to target consumers who received stimulus checks, Kroger (#2) comes in as the second-largest retailer in the U.S. With gas prices topping $5 a gallon in some parts of the country, the company benefited from consumers who, in addition to groceries, loaded their carts with non-food items on the same shopping trip in order to conserve fuel.

Even with existing home sales and home values dipping through much of 2008, The Home Depot snatched the number four (#4) spot on the list. The company’s rival, Lowe’s, came in at number eight (#8).

The health and personal care sector remained a bright spot for the industry in 2008 as people invested more on essential items and less on discretionary purchases. Walgreen (#6) and CVS Caremark (#7) both secured top spots.

Sears Holdings Corporation’s holiday layaway program and attractive private label merchandise landed the company at number nine (#9) on the list.

Rounding out the top ten is Best Buy (#10), which benefited from sales of new iPhones and game stations like Wii and Playstation that remained popular investments for those making discretionary purchases.

The report was sponsored by ADT Retail Solutions and Tomax Retail.net.

About the Survey

The Top 100 Retailers are listed by annual revenues, 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.

Planet Retail is a leading provider of global retailing information, from news and analysis to market research and digital media. Covering more than 7,000 retail and food-service operations across 140 markets around the world, many of the world’s leading companies turn to Planet Retail as a definitive source of business intelligence.

STORES Media is the publishing and communications group of the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. STORES Media offerings include STORES Magazine, STORES.org, STORES Knowledge Series, STORES First Edition and STORES Retail Deals. 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, online retailing, communications, marketing, merchandising and other vital store operations.


*Top 100 rankings are not comparable to previous years as the methods for revenue calculation have changed. The most significant change to this year’s Top 100 is the elimination, where possible, of data for non-retailing operations, which most affects the rankings of CVS Caremark, Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax.