Retail Industry I U.S. Retailers Dominate World’s Largest Retail Chain Rankings – 2014 Reports

Retail Industry I U.S. Retailers Dominate World’s Largest Retail Chain Rankings – 2014 Reports Biggest Changes in Years for Costco, Amazon, Apple, Dell, JC Penny

ImageThe world’s largest retail chain, Wal-Mart, is still the world’s largest retail chain. We didn’t need an annual report to tell us that. However, the annual revenue and ranking report of the largest global retail chains that generally contains very few year-over-year changes managed to deliver quite a few surprises in 2014, particularly for the U.S. retail industry in general, and for the largest U.S. retail chains like Costco, Amazon, Apple, Nike, and JCPenney in particular.

By the time the annual Global Powers of Retailing research is released each year, it’s mostly filled with yesterday’s non-news, especially for U.S. retail industry watchers who are obsessed with measuring individual and industry-wide retail revenue and performance all year long. We’re grateful for your compilation work each year, Deloitte and STORES, but your world’s largest retail rankings don’t change much and therefore aren’t usually all that exciting. Until 2014.

Huge movements in U.S. retail chain revenue rankings dominated the 2014 world’s largest retailers report, just as U.S. retail companies continue to dominate retailing on a global level. Costco jumped up three revenue ranking positions to pass Kroger and push Germany’s largest retailers Metro AG out of the top five of global retailers. That’s the biggest shakeup that’s happened in the global retail industry in years.

Amazon also made a big jump into the Top 20, landing at ranking position #16 when compared to all retailing operations in the world. Considering that Amazon has only been in business for 18 years and has never sold a single product out of a physical retail store, that’s a big deal not just for Amazon, but also for for global retailing.

Apple retail also made its mark on the global retail industry when it jumped up 25 positions in the global revenue rankings to land squarely in the Top 50 of retail chains in the world, when measured by annual revenue. Apple accomplished that in less than 12 years with less than 500 retail stores worldwide, proving once again that you don’t have to be the biggest in order to be the best.

Having said that, Dollar General has been topping the U.S. retail industry store openings list for the past few years, which is the reason behind its rise from ranking position #67 to ranking position #56 on the global retail scene. Notably, Dollar General’s expansion has been in the U.S. domestic market, which most other retail chains have all but abandoned in their expansion plans. Also notably, Dollar General is now selling more than legacy American retailer, JCPenney.

Read more: Retail Industry I U.S. Retailers Dominate World’s Largest Retail Chain Rankings
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group
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Fast Casual I Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to expect in 2014

Predicting the year’s coming trends in any industry is a challenge but is even more daunting when it comes to forecasting what’s to come for restaurants, which make up the nation’s second-largest industry.

To give you a little insight on what to expect in 2014, FastCasual.com has gathered predictions from some of the industry’s market research firms, including Mintel, NPD, Food IQ and Technomic.

Mintel

Julia Gallo-Torres, the company’s category manager of U.S. foodservice, believes restaurants across the board will be affected by these five trends.

1. Fast casual pulling ahead: The impressive growth of the fast casual segment demonstrates consumers, who are still focused on price, are willing to pay more for foods they consider to be of better quality or healthier. To meet that demand, concepts focusing on customization, speed of service and convenience, have recently popped up, including high-quality burger chains, health-focused concepts and top-your-own pizza restaurants. Gallo-Torres expects more to emerge this year

2. Premium proves practical: Full-service concepts are mimicking fast casual restaurants and will continue to test speedier service models. This is important especially during the lunch rush, when consumers don’t have the time to wait. Other tactics include launching healthier, more flavorful menu items and employing technology to speed up the dining experience, Gallo-Torres said.

3. Open-book business practices: Consumers are questioning the origin of their foods and are demanding transparency in ingredient sourcing and in general business practices, including the treatment of animals and employees, Gallo-Torres said. Consumers are interested in patronizing restaurants and buying brands that reflect their own values. Concepts that understand this and offer more information about their green practices or the causes they support stand to reap the rewards of increased loyalty.

4. Marketing to different demos: Operators have been obsessed with Millennials, but three other demographics will move into the spotlight this year: They include: Hispanics, women and baby-boomers.

Hispanics’ spending power is expected to reach nearly $1.7 trillion by 2017, meaning serving this rapidly expanding community will be key to growth.
Women visit restaurants less than men, probably due to their being more health- and budget-conscious, Gallo-Torres said. This indicates restaurants need to do more in terms of pricing, atmosphere and menu to gain momentum with this group.
Baby Boomers enjoy dining out and have more disposable income than other demographics, but few marketing campaigns specifically target them.

5. Technology revolution: Restaurants are increasingly using technology to cut service times and to offer loyalty programs, promotions and discounts electronically. This trend will continue, Gallo-Torres said, with things like in-store tabletop tablets and digital menu boards offering nutritional info becoming more common. Brands are also redesigning their websites and embracing mobile sites, so consumers can have access to restaurant info on their phones.

Food IQ

When it comes to profiling flavors, Food IQ is full of predictions. Daniel Campbell, the company’s Research and Development assistant, expects restaurants to embrace sour recipes, along with locally grown produce, Heirloom beans and Brazilian and spicy Asian flavors.

Read more: Fast Casual I Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to expect in 2014
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group