View the 2018 Hot 100 Retailers here.
How do five retailers in diverse segments of the industry manage to boost sales every since the inaugural report to rate a run on STORES Magazine’s Hot 100 Retailers list?
Amazon.com is No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart and leader of the Sustained Sizzlers. The ecommerce trailblazer continues to enhance the customer experience while adding depth and breadth to its merchandise offerings. Sales alone were enough to gain a high spot among hot retailers, then Amazon went out and implanted itself firmly in the supermarket industry with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market.
The other four lifelong members are in more conventional retail niches, with Ross Stores leading the way among deep discount off-price apparel retailers; O’Reilly Automotive expanding its reach geographically in the auto aftermarket segments; Dick’s Sporting Goods hanging on in a particularly difficult time for traditional sporting goods retailers; and Tractor Supply Co. pushing the envelope among farm store operators.
Amazon is discovering that being No. 1 brings recognition, but also a high profile that attracts criticism on any number of fronts. The company counters with arguments about how it contributes to the economy through the workers it employs, the taxes it pays and the convenience it provides to consumers. Earlier this year, Amazon said it planned to create more than 130,000 full- and part-time jobs during 2018.
Amazon generates about 4 percent of the nation’s retail sales and owns a 44 percent share of online retailing. “I think Amazon faces a day of reckoning with or without Trump,” says Donald Hambrick, a management professor at Penn State University. “They have built up this monolithic entity which a lot of America benefits from, but is also annoyed by and skeptical of.”