Hottest & coolest apparel retailers of 2007

22 Aug '08
6 min read

Alliance data has been compiling the top 100 hot list of retailers in the US since 2006 in terms of their growth rate. It has recently released the top 100 hot retailers list of America for the year 2007. This list contains retailers from amongst all categories like restaurants, home products, foods, electronics, apparels etc with minimum annual sales of US $100 million.

Coldwater Creek, America Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters are among the many eminent apparel retailers to be featured in the Hot 100 list.

Apparel stores are well represented among the top 100, with retailers dealing in teen's category enjoying an aggregate growth in sales of 13.3 percent. Included in this group are chains that have grown through rapid store openings rather than acquisitions, operations as disparate as Zumiez, Urban Outfitters, Aéropostale, The Buckle and Abercrombie & Fitch.

As a group, specialty apparel retailers didn't fare as well as those focused on the teenage segment, but two apparel chains did earn single-digit rankings on the big chart. American Apparel displays a sales gain of 35.8 percent; good enough to place fifth among all Hot 100 chains, Coldwater Creek at sixth is right behind with a 33.8 percent growth.

They were followed by Citi Trends at eleven, Urban Outfitters at Eighteen and Aeropostale at thirty-five which was followed at thirty-six by The Buckle.

Bebe stores and J.Crew had rankings of forty-two and forty-three, Tween Brands came in at forty-six, Abercrombie & Fitch at fifty-three, Men's Wearhouse at fifty-seven, and the iconic brand of New York, Saks followed at fifty-Eight.

The biggest retailer across the globe, Wal-Mart, with sales touching $378.79 billion in 2007, could only garner a poor ranking of eighty as its sales grew by only a dismal 8.6 percent in 2007 compared to $348.65 billion in 2006.

The most surprising entry in the list is of American Apparel which had sales of $387 million in 2007 compared to $284.96 million in 2006. It has come within the top five solely because of its sales growth which stood at 35.8 percent. The store count of this chain grew from 147 to 182, rising by 23.8 percent in contrast to 2006.

American Apparel has seen its store count jump from a mere 3 stores five years ago to a store count of 200 with operations in 15 countries. Though off course the financials of the retailer are far from desirable.

Coldwater Creek followed the footsteps of American Apparel by clocking sales of $1.15 billion in 2007 compared to $1.05 billion in the preceding year to register a growth of 33.8 percent. Stores numbers grew from 239 to 306 in the same period.

Coldwater Creek was ranked amongst the top ten retailers with the highest change in store count year to year. Coldwater Creek began as a catalogue retailer that ventured into e-commerce then bricks-and-mortar stores and even day spas in conjunction with some store locations. Its winning streak has not continued into 2008, as sales in the early months had dropped from year-ago levels.

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