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Primark tops Hot 100 Retailers list, beats Amazon

  • Primark has been ranked as the Hottest Retailer in the US, despite having a fraction of the revenue of its top competitors.

Value clothing retailer Primark has seen off competition from internet behemoth Amazon and accessories business Tapestry to top the list of Hot 100 Retailers.

The Hot 100 list of fastest-growing retailers, compiled by research firm Kantar Consulting and published by the National Retail Federation (NRF), ranks both public and privately held companies by percentage of US sales growth in 2017 over 2016, with a US$300m threshold for inclusion.

At number one on the list, even though it has a fraction of the revenue of its top competitors, is clothing and accessories retailer Primark, which sells low-price, high-volume goods. The Dublin-based company has grown rapidly since opening its first US store in 2015, with annual sales increasing 103% to $489m in 2017. Coming in second is outdoor sports and recreation retailer Bass Pro Shops, followed by online home improvement and appliance retailer Build.com, while Amazon took fourth place, which grew 45% to $103bn in 2017 as it continued to tailor products to customers while expanding its online marketplace, adding physical stores and buying the Whole Foods supermarket chain.

At number five in the list is online home goods retailer Wayfair, closely followed by Tapestry, formerly known as Coach, which grew 33% to $3.6bn.

"As always, the Hot 100 is a compendium of the best strategies retailers are using to grow in this omnichannel world," says Kantar Consulting chief knowledge officer Bryan Gildenberg. "This year, the classic 'four Ps' of marketing have become the 'four Ss' — the Hot 100 use speed, seamlessness, specialisation and scale by acquisition as their core platforms for growth."

Meanwhile, successful retail segmentation, owed in part to skilled management and strategy rather than any particular game-changing innovation, proved a recipe for success.

"Strong consumer confidence and high job growth are leading consumers to spend more on big purchases like home buying, home improvements and even travel that drive retail spending," Susan Reda, editor of NRF's Stores magazine, said. "This economic climate — paired with businesses that are strategically filling different retail niches and engaging customers through meaningful ways — is leading to sustained growth for the retailers on the list."

Meanwhile, five retailers were recognised as "sustained sizzlers" for having remained on the list each year since it was first published in 2006. These include Amazon, Ross Stores, and Dick's Sporting Goods which reported average annual sales growth from 2012-2017 as 25%, 8% and 8% respectively.

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