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Favorite 50 Retailers (2010)

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Rank Company Headquarters 2010 Share (%) 2009 Rank 2009 Share (%)
1 Amazon.com Seattle 24.3 1 18.7
2 Walmart.com Bentonville, Ark. 14.0 2 12.3
3 eBay.com San Jose, Calif. 11.2 3 10.2
4 BestBuy.com Richfield, Minn. 5.8 4 6.3
5 JCPenney.com Plano, Texas 4.5 5 4.4
6 Target.com Minneapolis 4.1 6 3.8
7 Kohls.com Menomonee Falls, Wis. 3.6 7 3.4
8 Google.com Mountain View, Calif. 2.8 8 2.9
9 Overstock.com Salt Lake City 2.7 9 2.5
10 Sears.com Hoffman Estates, Ill. 2.5 10 2.0
11 Macys.com Cincinnati 2.0 11 1.7
12 OldNavy.com San Francisco 1.5 12 1.4
13 LLBean.com Freeport, Maine 1.0 16 1.1
14 LandsEnd.com Dodgeville, Wis. 1.0 15 1.1
15 QVC.com West Chester, Pa. 1.0 14 1.1
16 Yahoo.com Sunnyvale, Calif. 1.0 13 1.1
17 WomanWithin.com Indianapolis 0.9 21 0.8
18 Blair.com Warren, Pa. 0.8 18 1.0
19 Kmart.com Hoffman Estates, Ill. 0.8 23 0.6
20 VictoriasSecret.com Columbus, Ohio 0.7 19 0.9
21 HomeDepot.com Atlanta 0.7 17 1.1
22 Lowes.com Mooresville, N.C. 0.7 20 0.8
23 Haband.com Oakland, N.J. 0.7 24 0.6
24 ColdwaterCreek.com Sandpoint, Idaho 0.6 26 0.6
25 AE.com/AmericanEagle.com Pittsburgh 0.5 33 0.4
26 Zappos.com Las Vegas 0.5 38 0.3
27 Gap.com San Francisco 0.5 28 0.5
28 LaneBryant.com Bensalem, Pa. 0.4 29 0.5
29 Newegg.com City of Industry, Calif. 0.4 22 0.6
30 HSN.com St. Petersburg, Fla. 0.4 34 0.4
31 TigerDirect.com Miami 0.3 30 0.4
32 MSN.com/Bing.com Redmond, Wash. 0.3 N.A. N.A.
33 Cabelas.com Sidney, Neb. 0.3 45 0.2
34 SamsClub.com Bentonville, Ark. 0.3 43 0.3
35 Craigslist.org San Francisco 0.3 25 0.6
36 KingSizeDirect.com Indianapolis 0.3 N.A. N.A.
37 Forever21.com Los Angeles 0.3 44 0.2
38 Express.com Columbus, Ohio 0.3 N.A. N.A.
39 Costco.com Issaquah, Wash. 0.3 36 0.3
40 Chadwicks.com Boston 0.3 32 0.4
41 Roamans.com Indianapolis 0.3 35 0.4
42 Eastbay.com Wausau, Wis. 0.3 27 0.5
43 NewportNews.com New York 0.2 41 0.3
44 FashionBug.com Bensalem, Pa. 0.2 50 0.1
45 Buy.com Aliso Viejo, Calif. 0.2 31 0.4
46 AOL.com New York 0.2 46 0.2
47 Aéropostale.com New York 0.2 N.A. N.A.
48 BananaRepublic.com San Francisco 0.2 N.A. N.A.
49 EddieBauer.com Bellevue, Wash. 0.2 40 0.3
50 Nike.com Beaverton, Ore. 0.2 N.A. N.A.

The saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” definitely applies to this year’s Favorite 50. The top 12 e-retailers remain unchanged from 2009, as do the services that consumers value most when shopping online.

Now in its fourth year, the STORES Favorite 50 is based on the perceptions of retailers’ harshest and most important critic — the consumer. In June, BIGresearch collected responses from 8,486 consumers, who provided their top two preferred online merchants. The overall results represent consumer “preference share” – and, as in the past, include entities that don’t meet the traditional definitions of a retailer.

Still very much influenced by price, consumers also want to shop with a retailer that can provide ideal stock levels, easy navigation – both in physical stores and online – and have access to knowledgeable sales associates. Inexpensive or free shipping will boost a shopper’s loyalty level, as will a simple-yet-flexible returns policy.

The top 3 e-retailers – Amazon.com, Walmart.com and eBay.com – not only retain their positions from 2009 but have grown market share, as well. This is significant, says BIGresearch senior analyst Pam Goodfellow, because for the past few years, “consumers were shopping around for the best prices, trying new brands and generics, and in general just more open to shopping new/different stores or websites in order to stretch their dollars further and make the most of their budgets. So these websites have gained loyalty from fickle consumers.”

Nearly two-thirds of the companies have no physical presence. And while the top spots are held by category killers and retail behemoths, there is some competition on the horizon. Samsclub.com, for instance, jumped nine spots to No. 34 this year. Costco.com also continues to hold its own as a consumer favorite, even though it slipped slightly to No. 39, from 36 last year.

Specialty apparel retailers account for nearly half of the Favorite 50, and a few new entrants are clearly creating competition in this category. BananaRepublic.com, which debuts this year at No. 48, may be a higher-end retailer, but easy navigation and aggregated checkout with sister brands OldNavy.com (No. 12), Gap.com (No. 27) and Piperlime.com have been hits with online shoppers.

Online retail sales for the second quarter were $32.9 billion, up 9 percent from the second quarter of 2009, according to Reston, Va.-based research firm comScore. The results have the consulting firm cautiously optimistic about the remainder of 2010.

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