These 15 Retailers Dominated 2015
Shoppers have been spending less on apparel, but that doesn't mean all retailers are suffering—it just means shoppers are spending most of it at these stores. Here are the top 15 retailers this year that took business away from the rest.
The Millennial-magnet ranked as the biggest apparel company in the US this year, beating out traditional clothing retailers like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Zara's growth has been so explosive the company's founder, Amancio Ortega, is now the second-richest man in the world. (And actually beat out Bill Gates for the top spot for a brief stretch.)
3. Victoria's Secret
Victoria's Secret is one of those retailers that seems like it will never fail, with consistent sales growth quarter after quarter after quarter...24, to be exact.
Madewell is a resounding success story of parent company J. Crew. Its "cool girl" approach to fashion is working, and has won over many women thanks to Somsack Sikhounmuong's designs.
5. Old Navy
With $16.4B in sales for 2014, the brand has held strong in '15—sans a slight Q3 letdown—outpacing Gap with a faster supply chain, appealing prices and innovative marketing campaigns.
6. Under Armour
Nike rules the space, but Under Armour has been catching up quickly, producing its first billion-dollar quarter ever during a slow Q3 for other retailers.
7. Forever 21
A go-to destination for trendy (and cheap) apparel for many a Millennial, Forever 21 has a foothold on the teen retail market. Already one of the largest private companies in the country, the retailer plans to double in size by 2018.
Another Millennial favorite, H&M's recent collaboration with Balmain proved the brand knows how to create loyal consumers. Clothing from the collection sold on eBay for thousands of dollars per piece.
9. Free People
Targeting young women in their 20s, Free People proved to be Urban Outfitters' secret weapon this year, growing in sales despite its parent company's Q3 slump.
After tossing out Photoshop on its models last year, Aerie's sales shot through the roof. This quarter, sales were up by 21%, which the company attributes to its Aerie Real campaign.
11. Adore Me
Chasing Victoria's Secret, Adore Me has grown 15,000% over the past three years, raking in $16.2M last year after grossing $1.1M in '12. The company earned ranked 14th overall on Inc.'s prestigious Inc. 5000 list.
12. American Eagle
Defying the odds, American Eagle executed a successful turnaround, with comparable sales up 9% for Q3. The chain also spread its wings, picking up cult retailer Tailgate Clothing Co for a cool $11M.
Target killed it during the recent holiday break, crushing sales records on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. In fact, the immense web traffic broke Target's Internet, causing a temporary meltdown.
14. L.L. Bean
You won't always find L.L. Bean boots at the mall. And it's not because they aren't stocked, it's because they're sold out. Their boots are functional, which for many people—especially Millennials-—translates to cool.
A leader in the "athleisure sector," business for Lululemon has been thriving thanks to its growing men's business, teen stores and international expansion. [BI]