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Hot 100 Retailers List Shows Change Is In The Air

Six e-commerce retailers reside in the Top 10, but the majority of the retailers on the list are either traditional or omnichannel ones.
We all know that the retail landscape is changing, but there remain a ton of questions on what that will mean for the future. Many clues can be gleaned by examining which retailers are thriving in the face of those changes. A fantastic starting point for that research comes courtesy of the National Retail Federation’s STORES magazine, which has just released the latest list of Hot 100 Retailers.

Blue Apron

Six e-commerce retailers reside in the Top 10, but the majority of the retailers on the list are either traditional or omnichannel ones. Less than 10 of the names in total are considered to be pure-play digital retailers. STORES Media Editor Susan Reda offered some insight on the findings of the report. 

“The retail industry is getting better at addressing shifts in shopping behaviors and thinking differently. What matters most to consumers is a retailer differentiating itself in the marketplace, being innovative with merchandise and offering the right value to the right person, not whether a retailer is ‘bricks or clicks,’” she said in a release. “The mix of both traditional and digital retailers on this year’s list reflects that. The secret to sustained growth going forward is a symbiotic relationship between digital and physical retailing.”

Topping the charts is subscription meal kit company Blue Apron, which grew by a phenomenal 133 percent in 2016. The company was founded five years ago, and more than 150 million meals have been delivered thus far. Sales for 2016 checked in at $795.4 million, and signs point to continued growth for this intriguing success story. 

Taking down the number two spot is online furniture and home decor seller Wayfair, which achieved sales growth of 54 percent. Next up is  longtime traditional retailer Ascena Retail Group, the parent company of Ann Taylor, Catherines, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant and Maurices, which enjoyed a stellar 2016 that saw sales grow at a 50 percent clip.  

Kantar Retail Chief Product Strategy and Marketing Officer Andrew Stockwell shared some of the other key takeaways from the report. 

“This year’s Hot 100 confirms once again that retail growth is coming from a number of places, including less traditional channels in the industry,” he said. “While a tremendous amount of volume is still generated from big boxes, retail channels such as online, discount, club, drug and convenience are powering accelerated growth.”

The report is an incredibly encouraging sign for traditional retailers, as it confirms that there’s still growth out there to be mined by them. The times may be changing, but brick and mortar retail isn’t going anywhere.  

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