2018 saw a huge spike in growth across every aspect of retail. While names like Wal-Mart and Amazon dominated the sales charts, the most successful companies in terms of growth contain more variety, and a few surprises. New technology like augmented reality made a giant splash, with brick-and-mortar stores seeing massive growth in spite of naysayers claiming physical retail is going away.
The Top 5 in Growth
Primark: A company headquartered in Dublin, Ireleand, with the US office located in Tennessee, Primark grew on the back of the new trend of offshore retailers making a splash in the US marked. They opened their first store in Boston in 2015, and have since opened 7 more locations. One of their most impressive stores in located in Brooklyn, which includes 56 fitting room, and 42 checkout lanes. They continue their growth with new stores planned for New Jersey and Florida in 2019.
Bass Pro Shops: One of the most consistent in terms of growth, Bass Pro Shops acquired outdoor retailer Cabela’s in September, and announced an expanded alliance with Sunglass Hut, bringing their products into stores. Their growth show no sign of slowing in 2019.
Build.com: A relatively young company, only 18 years old, Build.com has launched their In-Home Preview app. The app allows customers to view select merchandise in their own homes using Augmented Reality (AR). They can adjust lighting, turn faucets on and off, and even look at how furniture would look in their homes. It marks a dramatic change in how people will be shopping for furniture and home products in the coming years.
Amazon: The behemoth that will not quit. Amazong picked up another $9 billion in sales last year, partially on the back of their Whole Foods acquisition. One initiative that tends to be overlooked given Amazon’s dominance in the online arena is its move to brick-and-mortar stores. The cashier-less Amazon Go convenience stores are marked to open in San Francisco and Chicago. They are also growing their chain of bookstores, which should rise to 20 locations in 2019.
Wayfair: A pioneer in combining ecommerce and tech, including AR technology similar to Build.com’s app, Wayfair introduces its “Shop the Look” feature. The feature gives users and interactive view of various rooms in the home. They can click on anything in the image and get information on price, size, and color options. In 2018, Wayfair averaged 130 million photo views each month.
The landscape for 2019 looks to once again be a combination of digital advances like AR, VR, and 3D shopping options, and brick-and-mortar stores branching out and offering more variety in their offerings. We’ll be keeping an eye out throughout the coming year on what changes emerge.