Unlike last year when every retailer on the 2022 Hot 25 Retailers list experienced over 25% sales growth, 2023 saw only the top six surpassing this mark.
Notably, five of the top fifteen are active retailers in Washington State: 7-Eleven, Chico’s, Ulta Beauty, Costco, and Total Wine & More.
A significant trend in 2023 was the dominance of food-centric retailers. From Mexican grocer Chedraui to Superior Grocers and 7-Eleven, many of the top performers had a strong emphasis on food. In fact, if wine is considered, half of the Hot 25 primarily dealt in food and wine. David Marcotte of Kantar highlights the role of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in this sector, suggesting that the growth in grocery is largely driven by these activities.
However, not all growth was acquisition-driven. Retailers like Grocery Outlet, Publix, and Costco expanded organically, focusing on enhancing their regional presence and services. On the digital front, Chewy.com and Wine.com were the only pure-play e-commerce entities on the list. Chewy’s success, as Marcotte points out, lies in its ability to emotionally connect with its customer base, emphasizing the emotional bond between pets and their owners.
The home sector, too, witnessed significant growth catering to DIY enthusiasts and professionals, reflecting the surge in home improvement sales during the pandemic.
Luxury retail also made its mark. Despite economic challenges, brands like Tiffany & Company showcased robust growth, indicating that luxury consumption remains resilient.
The Hot 25 Retailers of 2023 is a testament to the dynamic nature of the retail industry. Whether through strategic M&As, organic growth, or tapping into emotional consumer needs, these retailers have showcased adaptability and resilience in a challenging market landscape.