As another year comes to an end, we took a look back to see which stores competing for business did the best. Thanks to company reports of retail sales (all of which are in the billions, by the way), we know the top 100 stores of the year. The retailers that made the most include Walmart and Amazon (unsurprisingly), though one wholesale warehouse ranked in the top ten with just under 530 stores. To put it in perspective, the majority of the top ten companies of 2019, and the top 100 for that matter made their billions of dollars in sales by owning at least 1,700 stores throughout the country. This just goes to show that more stores don’t mean more sales. Or maybe the stores that didn’t make the cut aren’t in the right market because there are categories of stores that make more cash than others, like supermarkets and fast food places. There are also states and cities where more successful stores operate their headquarters. Find out where in the U.S. the most top stores are based and more as you continue reading about the top 100 stores of 2019.
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Of the 100 top stores of 2019, ten stand out the most in retail sales.
|Rank||Company||Category||2018 retail sales (billions)||2018 stores||Headquarters City||Headquarters State|
|3||The Kroger Co.||Supermarket||$119.70||3,035||Cincinnati||OH|
|4||Costco||Membership-Only Warehouse Club||$101.43||523||Issaquah||WA|
|5||Walgreens Boots Alliance||Drug Store||$98.39||9,451||Deerfield||IL|
|6||The Home Depot||Home Improvement||$97.27||1,969||Atlanta||GA|
|7||CVS Health Corporation||Drug Store||$83.79||9,954||Woonsocket||RI|
|9||Lowe’s Companies||Home Improvement||$64.09||1,723||Mooresville||NC|
The #1 top store of 2019 is Walmart. The general retailer made $387.66 billion in sales throughout its 5,263 stores this year. Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. The only other Arkansas-based stores to make the overall list of the 100 top stores are Dillards (#71) and Discount Tire (#91) but the #1 Walmart outearned them both by at least 63%. As for #2: it’s Amazon. The e-commerce giant brought in 120.93 billion dollars in 2019. The H.Q. is located in Seattle, Washington, and is only one of four top 100 companies to conduct business from the Evergreen State. Amazon’s 490 brick-and-mortar stores may come as a surpsie as we tend to think of the company as solely e-commerce. However, Amazon’s physical stores include Whole Foods, Amazon Books, Amazon Go, AmazonFresh Pickup, Amazon Pop-Up stores, and all their package pickup locations.
Following Amazon is the U.S.’s largest supermarket chain: the Kroger Co. It’s one of eight Ohio-based retailers serving up top sales this year. Based out of Cincinnati, you may not immediately recognize the stores associated with The Kroger Co. As of 2019, The Kroger Co. owns Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fred Meyer Jewelers, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Home Chef, King Soopers, the Little Clinic, Mariano’s QFC, Ralphs, Roundy’s, Ruler Foods, Smith’s, and Vitacost. All that to say, the Kroger Co. and its 3,035 stores made $119.70 billion in retail sales — just 1.23 billion less than Amazon.
Costco is next. The wholesale warehouse best known for its free samples made $101.43 billion in sales last year. With just 523 stores, Costco is the only retailer other than Amazon (though Amazon makes most of its sales online, not in-store) to rank in the top ten with less than 1,500 stores. Costco is similar to Amazon in that its headquarters are located in Washington, though in a city called Issaquah. Costco is also the last retailer to hit over 100 billion dollars in sales on the list.
Walgreens Boots Alliance comes in at #5. The drugstore’s 9,451 stores made just under $99 billion throughout the year. One of eight top retailers based in Illinois, Walgreens (H.Q. in Deerfield) owns the most stores of the top ten up until this point. The Home Depot, CVS Health Corporation, Target, Lowe’s Companies, and Albertsons Companies round out the top ten retailers of the year. Each of these successful stores earned at least $59 billion and they own over 1,000 stores across the country.
We noted both Amazon and Costco made over 100 billion dollars with only 490 and 523 stores respectively. This just goes to show that more stores don’t mean more sales. Other examples include Ikea. With just 49 stores, Ikea still ranks at #72. It beat GameStop, which has over 3,800 stores throughout the U.S. and the furniture emporium is also neck-in-neck with Dillards’ 5,371 stores. Additionally, Apple Stores/iTunes managed to rank at #11 despite only having 271 stores. Both Macy’s and H.E. Butt Grocery also have well-under 900 stores yet they still make it in the top 20.
On the other hand, we have Subway. The sandwich shop has the largest amount of stores out of all 100 companies: 26,932. Yet, it’s only ranked at #43. The lowest-ranked company with the most stores appears to be the Shell Oil Company. Even with 4,406 stores, Shell only ranks at #99.
We sorted the top stores of 2019 into 12 distinct categories. The category of store that appears most frequently appears on the map is apparel. Seventeen apparel stores are ranked within the top 100 stores of 2019. The second most common category is restaurants. There are fifteen of these throughout the map. McDonald’s is the highest-ranking restaurant on the list at #14, which is not bad for a business dedicated to fast and cheap food. Yum! Brands ranks second in fast food (#24) followed by Starbucks, and Subway, and 11 others.
Supermarkets also make a lot of sales. There are 14 on the map, including the Kroger Co. and Albertsons Companies, which are the two supermarkets making the most. While there weren’t enough dollar stores and related companies on the map to merit a mention above, we thought it was notable that these companies where everything is usually $1 or less appear on this list twice and quite high in the ranks. Dollar General, for example, is ranked at #18 and made $25.63 billion throughout the year. Not far behind was the Dollar Tree. As the #21 top store of 2019, the Dollar Tree brought in about $22.48 billion. Absent from the top 100 is the 99 Cent Store.
A number of top stores are headquartered in Texas: 11 to be exact. The ranks of these Texas-based companies range from #20 (H.E. Butt Grocery) to #99 (Shell Oil Company). Dallas, Texas is the only city in the U.S. where four top stores have headquarters. 7-Eleven, AT&T, Army & Air Force Exchange Service, and Neiman Marcus are all successful companies based in Dallas.
In addition to Texas, many top retailers are based in California (nine), most of which are located in San Francisco. There are also eight top stores working out of both Ohio and Illinois, and six in Pensylvania, though no city in Ohio, Illinois, nor Pensylvania is home to more than two top companies. Seattle is home to three of Washington’s four top companies. That puts the Emerald City second to Dallas for the number of companies in the top 100. San Francisco and New York also have three companies each.
In addition to company reports of retail sales, the end of a calendar year also brings fun events for the family, like holiday light displays around the snow globe and the ability to map your holiday cards list. But the end of the year also means getting organized for the new year. If you have a bunch of business data you need to dive into, let BatchGeo help you use an Excel pivot table to count and sum values or teach you about Excel data visualization examples to make sure you start the year off right.