Top 10 Stores in the USA

Yesterday I posted about the Top 10 stores in the UK based on revenue, and straight away I was asked to cover the US Market too. I have done my research as always and my resource for this post is the National Retail Federation (NRF). Whilst researching last night, I must admit that A number of figures when it comes to store numbers do differ based on source, so I have used company websites where possible to confirm numbers. So lets take a look at the Top 10 stores in the US.
What I will say is that compared to the UK, these numbers are just WOW! If you think Tesco does well in the UK, the Top 10 in the US  dwarf the results. Now I do work with a number of these stores in my day job, working with American stores. I have Americanized where I can, but some British may still show up! Hope you enjoy the read.

10. ($59.72bn)

In 1939 in Boise, Idaho Joe Albertson opened his first grocery store. It was dubbed as “Idaho’s largest and finest food store”. In a way the Albertsons store was pioneering in the way that it offered free parking and a money back guarantee. Joe Albertson put all of his profit back into the store and soon branches were springing up all over the west. The store now employs around 250,000 staff and has 2,318 Stores. If you read my article on UK shops, you would notice that Morrison’s purchased Safeway in the UK. In the US Albertsons purchased Safeway, so it shows how large this company is. Albertsons is in at number 10 with a staggering $59.72bn dollars turnover last year.

9. ($63.13bn)

Number 9 is Lowe’s, a home improvement store, like B&Q in the UK or The Home Depot in the US. The company currently has around 2,394 Stores, and employs over 310,000 staff. To put this into perspective, that is a quarter of all NHS staff in the UK, which stands at 1.2M employees. Lowe’s revenue has continued to successfully grow year on year, except for a slight dip in 2010. The share prices in USD have also conditioned to grow steadily through the years. With a turnover of $63.13bn, Lowe’s is a strong contender to move up the Top 10.

8. ($71.88bn)

The Dayton Dry Goods Company was founded in 1903 by George Dayton. The store went through a few changes during the Great Depression when its jewelry store operated at a loss. The department store side of the business faired well though and made it through the difficult times. The company then went on to acquire Lipman’s department store in the 1950s. Then the company wanted to branch out into discount stores and set up its first Target store, as a result.
The name was chosen to prevent customers confusing the cheaper Target brand with the more prestige one. Over the next few years, three additional Target stores were opened, and the rest is history. There was some rapid expansion during the 1970s in which Target acquired Jessop & Sons and Team Electronics, which did result in some profit loss for a short while, however Target just kept growing. This ensures that this still stays in our top 10 stores as eventually most brands were turned into Target stores and with a turnover of $71.88bn, you can see why. Target now has 1,822 Stores with 345,000 employed across the group.

7. ($79.54bn)

CVS is in at number 7 with a workforce of 203,000 across 9,800 locations. CVS specialize in pharmacy and health & beauty, but also have CVS Photo outlets too. The chain was founded in 1963 in Lowell, Massachusetts, by Stanley Goldstein, Sidney Goldstein and Ralph Hoagland. CVS growth is mainly due to the acquisition of many smaller and more regional companies, turning them into the CVS brand state by state. The company now has a turnover of $79.54bn.

6. ($82.75bn)

We have yet another pharmacy type store in at number 6 of out top 10 stores with Walgreens. This was the second largest behind CVS for a number of years, however last year they have just beaten CVS to the number 6 spot. The company operates out of Chicago, and was set up by Charles Ruddolph Walgreen in 1901.
The retail company purchased Boots in the UK to form the Walgreens Boots alliance from 2014. The company has 9,560 Stores across the United States and employs more than 240,000 staff with 85,000 of those being healthcare providers. With $82.75bn of revenue last year, you can see how 78% of the US population live within 5 miles of a Walgreens.

5. ($91.91bn)

Another home improvement company The Home Depot is at number 5. The company profits last year stood at an impressive $91.91bn, made form their 2,000 locations. This number is pretty small compared to some stores later in the top, however with the popularity of home improvement in the US, you can understand the sheer profit. There were five founders of The Home Depot, Bernard Marcus, Arthur Blank, Ron Brill, Pat Farrah and Kenneth Langone. With over 400,000 associates working for the company, it is the largest home improvement retailer in the world.

4. ($93.08bn)

The story behind number 4 is pretty simple. Costco was formed with the idea of bringing very low priced items in bulk to the average consumer. This model now works the world over, with Cash & Carry’s being popular around the world. By buying items in bulk there are less overheads to consider, so you get more for your money. Seasonal products are big winners in Costco, as they will stock items for a limited period, selling them cheaply, and then they may become discontinued. $93.08bn in revenue coming from a tiny 759 warehouses is a pretty awesome endeavor. CVS has more than 10 times the locations, yet falls short of this retail giant.

3. ($102.96bn)

Amazon, the baby of the retail world, yet also one of the largest success stories of all time. Started in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, one of the worlds richest men I might add, Amazon is now a household name. The online shopping giant you maybe surprised to hear, does have 456 physical stores in the USA. They also have  a list of subsidiaries longer than my arm, with one of the more recent acquisitions being Whole Foods. Amazon has over 180,000 employees in the US alone, yet spans thew world with its business activity. With revenue of $102.96bn, it is hard to think that Amazon is in third place.

2. ($115.89bn)

Bernard Kroger set up Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It took him $372 to open his first grocery store with is wife. Hard to believe that $372 can turn into an annual turnover of $115.89bn. The company has 3,902 Stores with an impressive workforce of 443,000 staff. It wasn’t always plain sailing though for the company. In 2005 Kroger reporting a net loss of $104m dollars. It has however seen profit every year since.

1. ($374.80bn)

In at number 1 at our top 10 stores. This should again be as easy as the UK results. We have super retail giant Walmart. Walmart was started in 1962 by Sam Walton, and I mean just look at that revenue. $374.80bn. The company has an amazing army of employees larger than the UK’s National Health Service, with 1.5 million members of staff, and thats just in the US. Worldwide, the company employees over 2.3 million staff. Everyone has heard of J.C. Penney, and this is how Walmart began. Former J.C. Penney employee Sam Walton decided to set up his own five and dime store, with the idea of low profit, quick turnover items. $374.80bn later, I think he knew exactly what he was doing. 5,328 Walmart Stores now operate in the US with this 1st place retail winner.

And to summarise

Its fair to say that it has been a turmoil few years for retail, with Sears, Toys R Us, Bon-Ton and Nine West all going bankrupt. This should serve as a warning to the above stores that the glory days could be short lived. I don’t think the Top 10 here have much to worry about in the immediate future, but you do need to stick with progress. If you don’t stay relevant to the consumer like Toys R Us and Sears didn’t, sales will drop and eventually the shopper will go elsewhere.
You can also check out my Best of British stores on my UK post.
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Mark OnaBlog
markonablog@gmail.com
Mark has a wealth of experience working with top brands in both the UK and US, to save you money. He is a keen blogger and is going to pass on a wealth of knowledge to his readers.

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