By  on July 1, 2011

A new survey that ranks the top 100 retailers by U.S. domestic sales has Wal-Mart in its usual number-one spot. But the retail giant’s growth has slowed.

“It’s much harder to open new SuperCenters, which is the how [Wal-Mart] typically achieves growth,” said Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail, which conducted the survey for the July issue of the National Retail Federation’s Stores magazine. “The economic and retail environment is not suited to building SuperCenters. Shoppers doing fewer stock-up trips and more top-off trips has also hurt the format. It’s not easy to grow faster than the market when you’re a statistically significant share of the market.”

While all retailers are dealing with a drop-off in demand from consumers, those selling apparel now have rising cotton costs to contend with. There’s also more competition from online pure-plays such as, which jumped to 19th this year from number 26 last year.’s 2010 U.S. sales grew 46.2 percent over 2009, to $18.5 billion. “By 2016, Amazon may be one of the top 10 retailers in the world,” Gildenberg said.

Apple Stores rose more than 30 spots, to 21st from 52nd. U.S. sales in 2010 increased 32.3 percent to $18 billion.

Department stores are struggling to be current in a world where fashion trends travel faster than ever. “Macy’s is still searching for the idea that’s going to help it become a fashion authority,” Gildenberg said. “Department stores that cater to an older customer are getting hurt by chains like Chico’s, which is providing some of their core demographic with a different type of fashion solution.”

Here, a list of the top 100 retailers ranked by U.S. 2010 sales as seen in Stores magazine.


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