Ascena Retail Group ranks 3rd in NRF’s Hot 100 list

Long-time traditional retailer Ascena Retail Group — parent company of Ann Taylor, Catherines, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant and Maurices — has ranked third in the Hot 100 Retailers published by the National Retail Federation (NRF). The company has been aggressive with mergers and acquisitions in recent years and had 50 per cent sales growth at $7 billion.


Ascena Retail Group

Subscription fashion retailer JustFab has earned the seventh position on the list by going up 29 per cent at $572 million, while online giant Amazon is placed tenth on the list with an increment of 25 per cent at $77 billion.

Companies that provide unique offerings and experiences for consumers dominate the list of Hot 100 Retailers published by NRF’s Stores magazine. The list compiled by research firm Kantar Retail, is based on sales growth in 2016 over 2015 and ranks both public and privately held retail companies by US domestic sales, with a $300 million threshold for inclusion.

“The retail industry is getting better at addressing shifts in shopping behaviours and thinking differently,” Stores Media Editor Susan Reda said. “What matters most to consumers is a retailer differentiating itself in the marketplace, being innovative with merchandise and offering the right value to the right person, not whether a retailer is ‘bricks or clicks.’ The mix of both traditional and digital retailers on this year’s list reflects that. The secret to sustained growth going forward is a symbiotic relationship between digital and physical retailing.”

Online companies make up six of the top 10 companies, but the majority of retailers on the full Hot 100 list are either traditional retailers or retailers that sell both in-store and online. Fewer than 10 companies are pureplay e-commerce.

“This year’s Hot 100 confirms once again that retail growth is coming from a number of places, including less traditional channels in the industry,” Kantar Retail Chief Product Strategy and Marketing Officer Andrew Stockwell said. “While a tremendous amount of volume is still generated from big boxes, retail channels such as online, discount, club, drug and convenience are powering accelerated growth.”

Fourteen companies including Amazon and Lululemon Athletica are recognised as ‘sustained sizzlers’ for having made the Hot 100 list each year since its inception in 2006.

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