Wal-Mart is the Top Retailer, Says NRF Survey

Wal-Mart tops the list as the nation’s largest retailer with 2006 sales of $348.65 billion, an 11.7 percent increase over the previous year, According to STORES magazine Top 100 Retailers ranking. In fact, Wal-Mart’s 2006 revenues were greater than those of the next five largest U.S. retailers combined. Wal-Mart is also the nation’s largest jewelry retailer.

The Top 100 list appeared in the July issue of the magazine, which is published by the National Retail Federation. The report serves as an annual snapshot of the retail industry, ranking companies by revenue and grouping them on one chart regardless of the segment or segments in which they operate.

Among retailers who sell jewelry, those making the Top 100 list were primarily mass merchants and national department stores.

Costco, with revenues of $60.15 billion in 2006 came in fourth overall on the survey, while Target ranked fifth with $59.5 billion. Sears Holdings ranked sixth in the survey with revenues $53 billion, rounding out the retailers that sell jewelry who made it into the top ten of the survey.

Among department stores, Federated Department Stores ranked 13th, with revenues of $26.97 billion, followed by JCPenney (17, $19.9 billion); Kohl’s (23, $15.54 billion); Nordstrom (23, $8.56 billion); Dillards (41, $7.85 billion); Neiman Marcus Group (74, $4.1 billion); The Bon-Ton Stores (86, $3.45 billion); Belk 94, $3.15 billion); and Saks (100, $2.94 billion).

Amazon.com was the only pure-play Internet retailer that includes jewelry in its product mix which made the rankings—coming in at 32 with revenues of $10.71 billion. QVC, the television and online retailer came in at 44 on the survey with $7.07 billion in revenues. 

Berkshire-Hathaway Retail, whose holdings include Borsheim’s, Helzberg Diamond Shops, and Ben Bridge Jeweler, came in at 89 in the rankings with $3.33 billion in revenues.

Jewelry retailers did not make the list this year. In last year’s survey, Tiffany & Co. ranked 96 and Zale Corp., 97.

One reason this may have happened is because for the first time, restaurants were included in the top 100 rankings. Six restaurants made the rankings.

The most successful retailers in the industry are constantly reinventing themselves to stay one step ahead of the competition, according to Susan Reda, executive editor of STORES.

“It’s not enough anymore for retailers to carry the same merchandise as their competition,” Reda said. “From their own brand of food to an exclusive line of tools, today’s retailers will get ahead by differentiating their merchandise and offering products that consumers cannot find anywhere else.”