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    Sprouts Ranked Fastest-Growing Retailer in U.S.

    The natural and organic foods retailer achieved 72 percent growth over last year

    Sprouts Farmers Market took the top slot as the fastest growing retailer in the U.S., according to Stores magazine’s annual Hot 100 Retailers list, which it released this month.

    The Hot 100 Retailers list, published annually in the August issue of STORES, consists of retail companies that reported the greatest increase in domestic sales between 2010 and 2011. All public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible for the list, which was compiled by Kantar Retail.

    “The list of the fastest-growing retailers is in sync with current shopping trends as these merchants have a razor sharp focus on today’s consumer,” said STORES Media Editor Susan Reda. “Among the top 10 are retailers that cater to shoppers’ desire for smaller footprint organic supermarkets, high-end workout apparel and luxury accessories, and even online shopping. Not surprisingly, Verizon Wireless, Apple Stores and AT&T Wireless round out the mix – a clear indicator of how important smartphone devices have become.”

    Phoenix-based Sprouts, which witnessed nearly 72 percent year-over-year sales growth in 2011, has a total of 109 stores -- a 102 percent increase from the prior year. The family-owned organization also has ambitious growth plans for 2012 that include the merger with Sunflower Markets.

    No. 2 Verizon Wireless and No. 10 AT&T Wireless both had tremendous sales growth in 2011. Verizon Wireless’ sales grew 69 percent last year while AT&T saw sales growth of 30 percent. Building on this trend, No. 9 Apple Stores/iTunes’ sales grew 37 percent last year. Apple also benefits from the digital side of the business with iTunes, which rakes in sales from the online purchase of music, movies and videos.

    Hot 100 newcomers Michael Kors Holdings (3), Lululemon Athletica (4) and Under Armour (5) continue to make noise within the retail industry. Known for their hyper-loyal customer bases and high-end apparel and accessories, experts agree these retailers have staying power even in a shaky economy. Michael Kors’ U.S. sales grew 65 percent in 2011, Lululemon’s 65 percent, and Under Armour’s 63 percent.
    CARE Pharmacies (6), Amazon.com (7) and Lowe’s Market Place (8) round out the hot 10.

    “For all the changes we see in the Hot 100, the attributes of greatness remained consistent in 2011,” commented Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail. “Retailers that have a strong value proposition defined for their audience combined with the economic and operating savvy required to execute against it continue to define ‘winning’ in today’s challenging retail environment,” he added.

    The Hot 100 Retailers list is the definitive annual ranking of the fastest-growing retail chains in the United States. Rankings are determined by increases in year-over-year domestic sales between 2010 and 2011. The STORES Hot 100 list was sponsored by Kronos, SAP and Waste Management.

    STORES Media is the publishing group of the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association.
     

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