Who are the fastest growing retailers? That question interests me because I have been predicting that the bargain retailers are going to survive the e-commerce competition. Why; because their customers generally come from the lowest socioeconomic rungs of society. What therefor distinguishes many of these consumers is that they do not have access to either credit or the Internet. These are the two "must haves" if you want to be an e-commerce shopper.
That was why my eyes opened wide when I saw this recent headline from the Chicago Tribune: "Bargain chains lead list of fastest-growing retailers." According to author Lauren Zumbach, bargain retailers make up five of the top 10 chains in terms of square footage growth.
Here is the list. I have starred starred (*) the bargain retailers.
1. Wal-Mart (Super Centers and Neighborhood Markets), 15,020,000 square feet
2. *Dollar General, 6,529,566 square feet
3. Forever 21, 5,700,000 square feet
4. *Family Dollar, 4,272,893 square feet
5. *Dollar Tree, 3,210,000 square feet
6. *Marshalls, 3,007,000 square feet
7. *T.J. Maxx, 2,873,989 square feet
8. Dick's Sporting Goods, 2,650,000 square feet
9. Tractor Supply Co., 1,860,000 square feet
10. Ulta Beauty, 1,170,000 square feet
I find it interesting that Dicks Sporting Goods made the list. There was no explanation provided in the article but I find the growth interesting in light of the recent Sports Authority, Golf Smith and Sports Chalet bankruptcies. One likely cause is Dick's taking over vacant competitor locations as the sporting goods category continues to shake out.
Eight of the ten sell toys. Good news for the toy and play business.