According to the National Retail Federation's annual top retailers report on the 100 largest retailers selling within the United States, Amazon.com (AMZN) was the retailer with the highest domestic sales growth, at just over 46%, and the online-only retailer is now the 19th largest within the United States. The second fastest growing retailer is Apple (AAPL), at slightly over 32%, on the strength of its Apple Stores and online iTunes & app sales.
Apple is now the 21st largest retailer within the United States. Several of the other top growing large retailers represent higher-end shopping options, such as Nordstrom (JWN), Whole Foods (WFM), Williams Sonoma (WSM) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY). Most are also well-known and established retailers.
Below are the share performance rates for nine of the ten fastest growing large retailers within the United States. The sixth fastest growing retailer is Aldi on the strength of its Trader Joes stores, but Aldi is not publicly traded. I have also provided the over-all sales rank.
The best performing above-listed equity within 2011 is Tractor Supply Co (TSCO), which is up just over 48% since the start of the year. Whole Foods, O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY), Apple, Nordstrom and Bed Bath & Beyond all also outperformed the broader market since the start of 2011.
The worst performing listed retailer over the last 12 months is RadioShack (RSH), which is down just over 48 percent. Nonetheless, most of these equities have appreciated this year, as well as in the 1-month, 3-month and 6-month time periods. The only other retailer to be down since the start of 2011 is AMZN, which is down over 20 percent this quarter, at least partially due to concerns over costs associated with its recent Kindle tablets.
These retailers represent varied industries, though most still benefited from poor comparable numbers in 2009 and the elimination of competitors. The source of Amazon.com's and Apple's growth comes from clear recent trends in the method of shopping and product choices consumers are now making. The two are also expected to be among the higher growing large retailers in 2011.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Disclaimer: This article should not be construed as personalized investment advice as it does not take into account your specific situation or objectives.