5 Retailers Growing at Warp Speed
Holiday season sales may have disappointed, but with oil prices in freefall and the job market on a tear, consumer confidence is overdue for a comeback. Here are five rapidly expanding retailers poised to take advantage of it.
Year-to-year store growth: 22.1%
After aggressively courting commercial brokers (with free heroes, of course) at events like ICSC, this Garden State-based winner saw sales explode in 2013 by 16.6%, to nearly $500M. Next stops on the expansion train are Northern California, Las Vegas and the New York tristate area, where the sandwich shop looks to bolster its hometown presence...and maybe even cause Subway to look over its shoulder.
Year-to-year store growth: 10.4%
Signet's mercenary approach to mergers and acquisitions culminated last year in its $1.4B acquisition of the jewelry giant Zales' parent company. That deal followed the folding of Kay Jewelers, Jared and Ernest Jones into Signet's embrace. No wonder the powerhouse's yearly store growth is among the swiftest in the nation, with 9.5% sales growth, to $3.5B, not far behind.
Year-to-year store Growth: 8.5%
You can credit the housing recovery with Sherwin-Williams' galloping growth rate in terms of new locations. But internal measures at the company have also contributed to its own building boom. Its bid to buy rival Consorcio Complex's Mexican Division failed, but it did pick up Consorcio's Canadian and US interests. That deal contributed to SW's wild stock surge from $91 a share in early 2012 to $268 today.
Year-to-year store growth: 4.3%
This Atlanta-based Southern staple has weathered the occasional sociopolitical controversy—the CEO criticized gay marriage on religious grounds—and in 2013 enjoyed a 12% boost in sales, to $5.2B. Now, the chain is focusing on an urbanization push as it rolls out roughly 100 stores a year. New York City is chief among target expansion zones for a company whose growth can't be stopped—even if locations still shutter on Sundays.
Store growth: N/A
Dollar Tree averaged 16% annual sales growth between 2005 and 2013, when it operated just under 5,000 stores. But its future growth relies on the outcome of an $8.5B takeover bid of rival Family Dollar, whose roughly 8,000 locations brought in over $10B in 2013. Total divestitures of the merger would exceed 4,000 but create a monster big enough to have prompted antitrust concerns and delayed a shareholder vote on the action.