Retail Stores – The Top 100, Strategies, Trends and Statistics

Strategy Plan One

July 16, 2012

Retail Stores – The Top 100  

Realistically speaking and understating, it has been a rough go for the past while in the retail sector, similar to many others industries when the economy hit its bumps.   While the usual big box stores are on top in their expected rankings, other retailers have emerged, with differing strategies to engage and capture consumer attention.   The National Retail Federation (NRF) has just released the top retail stores report and some insight into those successful retail companies.

According to the NRF report, the business strategies of the top retailers are as varied as the list.  Some retailers are keen to develop expansion plans around urban development, while others find their niche in rural areas.  Depending on retail strategies, some retailers are integrating into the shopping mall model, while others are thinking outside the “mall” box.  It is apparent there is not one standard business and marketing strategy that works for all.

Some interesting strategic patterns have emerged across the top retail stores:

  • Long-term, consistent nature of the strategies
  • Successful strategies that center on the customer first, as strategies should
  • Differentiation that set those top performers apart from the competition
  • Retail strategies and stores focused on essential goods (food, drug, medical) remain strong through economic turbulence 
  • Online retail strategies continue to build

Top Retailers

See the rest of the Top 100 Retailers of 2012 at NRF Stores site

It is clear that in companies like Walmart and Amazon that to stay on top, that their low-cost provider strategy is still priority #1.  In some cases, in order to build long-term customer loyalty, retailers such as Amazon break-even or lose money on some items.  It has been predicted that these two low-cost providers are going to continue to grow over next 5 years.

Online retailers like Amazon illustrate success with their model of e-commerce, without the need for physical locations.  The trend will continue in this direction, as retailers may need to stay competitive by moving part of their operations into online retail expansions instead of expensive physical locations.

More Reading on Retail and the Customer

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Online Retail – Strategies That Lead to Better Sales [infographic]

Strategy Plan One

July 1, 2012

Online Retail

This creative infographic points out the specific tactics online retailers use to draw in customers to more steps in the purchase process, leading to more sales.  The infographic breaks the process down into six distinct, tactical areas, including creative design of the site, ease of the purchase process, feedback and testimonials, pricing strategies, time factors, and additional actions.

Design factors to draw in online retail customers:

  • Color – emotional responses to differing colors
  • Content marketing with selection of words and descriptions, targeting markets
  • Inserting pages with video to sell more

Online Retail Purchase Process:

  • One click buying
  • Quick loading of pages (helps in the spontaneous purchase process)
  • Mobile enabled, as online mobile purchase trends are favorable
  • Safe and secure sites, allowing safe data storage for future sales

Reviews, Feedback and Testimonials:

  • Endorsements bring sales
  • Consumer reviews are powerful
  • Ratings and feedback mechanisms result in better sales, better ROI

Online Retail Pricing Strategies:

  • Free trial then buy works
  • With free shipping, more spent on items
  • Revenues add up fast with additional discounted items offered

Time Factor with Online Retail:

  • Personalized deal time window is effective
  • Adding timing add urgency to the process
  • Time or number limitations create more interest

Additional Call to Actions:

  • Reminders and ancillary purchase links generate more add-on sales
  • Links on additional buys is an effective sales strategy
  • Ads centered on your buys assist in future sales

online retail - strategies

Source:,   VoucherCodes

Online retailers need to be more strategic in the ever increasingly competitive online retail industry.  Businesses and entrepreneurs must undertake adequate research and planning prior to launching their online retail ventures.  It helps to develop a plan through the strategic steps of establishing objectives, options, methods, implementation, measurement of results and revisions as necessary.

More Online Retail and Consumer Articles:

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Father’s Day 2012 – Retail Spending Up

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June 15, 2012 

Father’s Day 2012 – Trends in Retail Spending

Business and marketing plans can be developed around the volumes of business that calendar events can bring.  Certain days and periods in the calendar, such as Christmas and Easter can make or break retail and service businesses.  However, many spots in the calendar create billions in economic activity for the US business sector.

Similar to Mother’s Day earlier this year, retail spending around Father’s Day has been projected to increase favorably to $12.7 Billion.  According to a recent survey conducted by National Retail Federation, spending will be up by an estimated 10% this year, with estimated average spending at $117.14.

fathers day 2012 - retail spending

Of the projected $12.7 Billion in Father’s Day spending, here are the big-ticket items Dad’s will be receiving:

  • $2.3 Billion on taking Dads to special outings
  • $1.7 Billion on electronic gifts
  • $1.7 Billion on clothing for Dads
  • $645 Million on books and music, and 
  • $641 Million estimated on sporting goods for gifts

Whether you are a retail business with a store front or online, take note of the survey data on where purchases have been estimated to occur:

  • 41.6% will shop for Father’s Day gifts at department stores
  • 34% will hit a discount store for a cheap Father’s Day gift
  • 28.6% at electronic stores, and 
  • 28.4% of all purchases will occur through online retail sites
Moving with the mobile trends in recent news, 26.7% of smartphone users will utilize their devices to research and purchase gifts.
As you develop your business and marketing plans for your retail or services business, keep on track with the massive potential opportunities around calendar events, such as Father’s Day.
Other relevant blogs and articles on economic indicators:

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Mother’s Day 2012 – Retail Projections Looking Marvellous

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May 1, 2012 

Mother’s Day 2012

Are you an entrepreneur in retail and considering sales and marketing opportunities around Mother’s Day?  The National Retail Federation (NRF) has posted statistics and projections for Mother’s Day 2012.  Similar to the patterns of other calendar events in 2012 like St. Valentine’s Day, Patrick’s Day, and Easter, the upward, projected trend is welcoming.

Mother’s Day 2012 – NRF Survey

According to the NRF survey, retail spending is projected to increase 8.4% over 2011 Mother’s Day spending, with total spending for 2012 expected to reach a whopping $18.6 Billion.  The survey data suggests that the average spending per person buying Mother’s Day gifts is now estimated to be over $152.

The following graph, courtesy of NRF, illustrates a favourable, turn-around trend over the past 5 years, with stabilization occurring in 2009-2010, following by significant spending increases in 2011 and 2012.  Let’s hope this trend continues.

  Mother's Day 2012

To make Mom feel the best on her day, here’s the top of the spending list:

  • $3.4 Billion on a brunch or dinner for Mom (54.3% of celebrators)
  • $2.2 Billion on flowers (66.4% of shoppers)
  • $1.8 Billion on gift cards
  • $1.6 Billion on clothing and accessories
  • $1.6 Billion on electronics, tablets, digital cameras (12.7%), and
  • $1.3 Billion in spa treatments and personal services (Ahhh for Moms!)

From the tech perspective, almost 40% of potential shoppers surveyed will scan their mobile devices and tablets for the deal of all deals for Mother’s Day.  About 24% of tablet owners will use their devices for Mother’s Day purchases.  App developers should pay close attention to the increasing trend of utilizing apps in devices to research and purchase products; 12% of device owners will be utilizing apps in this NRF survey, conducted by BigInsight.

Retail Industry – Indicators

As previously reported, the retail and food industry indicators in March showed marked improvements upward.  The US Census Bureau stated a 6.5% increase in retail revenue over March 2011.

retail industry

The projected trends overall in the retail sector and around calendar events for 2012 are very consistent in the 5-8% increase range.  As an entrepreneur and business owner in the retail sector, tune in and analyze some of these trends in the retail industry.

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Retail Industry Statistics Favorable for March 2012

Strategy Plan One

April 18, 2012 

Retail Industry

The retail industry is potentially on the rebound with some of the most current data out for public consumption.  This is good news for businesses and entrepreneurs around the country who are all desperately looking for signs of recovery.

The latest advance report is out by the US Census Bureau on retail statistics estimates for March 2012.  The report, including the statistics for the combined retail and food industry, cites that the industry total revenue for March 2012 was $411.1 Billion.  This represented an increase of 0.8% over February 2012 and a 6.5% increase over March 2011 figures.


retail industry


Retail industry sales alone increased by 0.8% from February 2012 and consistent with the 6.5% increase above March 2011 data.  The biggest sector jump in the retail industry occurred in building material and garden retail sector, with a 14.1% increase over March 2011 statistics.

Business owners and the industry will cautiously analyze the next few months to determine if this pattern will continue and if it is solid signs of recovery.


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Hopping US Retail Statistics Around Easter

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March 31, 2012 

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released some estimated retail statistics for US consumer spending in the 2012 Easter period.   This could be noted as more positive economic indicators, with projected spending to increase for this year’s season.  Retail entrepreneurs and business owners should tune-in to lucrative events in the annual calendar, as all pose to be potentially lucrative if you tap into some niche retail areas.

Here are some highlights on 2012 estimated US retail spending around Easter, based on a NRF survey:

  • Estimated average spending on retail merchandise, food, candy: $145.28
  • 2012 estimated average spending is up by +11% over 2011 ($131.04)
  • Total estimated retail spending for Easter 2012:  A big $16.8 Billion

Easter Calendar - spending

Here are the biggest categories in a breakdown of the estimated retail spending around Easter 2012:

  • Fashion & Accessories:  $3.0 Billion
  • Easter Candy:  $2 Billion
  • Easter meals & food:  $5.1 Billion
  • Easter gifts & cards:  $2 Billion

It is interesting to note that the average estimate spending is $44.34 for Easter meals, $20.57 for Easter Gifts, $10.50 on flowers, $9.07 for Easter decor, and from the half that buy greeting cards, an average of $7.04 on greeting cards.

Easter Shopping

Some interesting trends are highlighted in this NRF survey around how and where consumers will shop:

  • 63.5% will shop at the local discount store
  • 42.6% will shop at a department store for gifts; highest percent in the survey’s history
  • 8.7% will shop online, represents a 4% increase over last year
  • 25.4% will shop at a specialty retail store

Similar to other calendar events, Easter consumer retail spending can bring significant revenues to your business, if you target customers in niche areas.  If you are in retail in these areas, do not overlook the power of retail during special periods.  Plan well in advance for periods of retail opportunities.

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Power of Retail – Staggering Economic Numbers

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February 27, 2012

The National Retail Federation (NRF) website is an excellent source of information on the retail industry in the US.  Here are some amazing statistics, courtesy of NRF:

 Retail Jobs and Industry Statistics 

  • Retail Establishments                     3,617,486
  • Direct Retail Employment             28,113,476
  • Total Retail Employment Impact   41,620,604
  • Direct Labor Income                      $770 billion
  • Total Labor Income Impact          $1.49 trillion
  • Direct Impact on GDP                    $1.2 trillion
  • Total Impact on GDP                    $2.48 trillion

 Retail Job Information  US Retail Jobs Information Cloud

Retail supports 1 in 4 American jobs.

Retail is directly and indirectly responsible for 18% of the U.S. GDP.

Retail directly and indirectly generates 17% of the U.S. labor income.

Retail Jobs supports 41,620,604 jobs in the U.S.

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One