New York—Signet Jewelers made the National Retail Federation’s Top 100 Retailers list, landing at No. 78.
The list, compiled by market research firm Kantar Group, ranks the fastest-growing retail companies in the United States, based on 2020 annual retail sales.
This year’s list excludes restaurant chains, which were eligible in previous years.
According to Kantar, the jewelry company’s 2020 U.S. retail sales totaled $4.65 billion, down 13 percent compared with 2019.
The U.S. market accounts for 89 percent of Signet’s worldwide sales, which totaled $5.23 billion in 2020.
Signet Jewelers, the parent company of Zales, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers, and more, had 2,381 U.S. stores in 2020, a 9 percent drop compared with 2019.
The jewelry giant has been downsizing its store fleet in recent years, moving away from low-performing malls to off-mall locations. It also has plans to add kiosks in underserved markets.
In the No.1 spot on NRF’s list is Walmart, with U.S. sales of $430.82 billion, a 9 percent year-over-year increase.
“Walmart came up through the ecosystem of retail with winning combinations, such as putting stores where other stores aren’t and being the valued retailer for mass retail,” said David Marcotte, senior vice president for Kantar, in a press release.
Amazon came in second place with U.S. sales of $187.27 billion, a year-over-year increase of 34 percent.
Supermarket chain Kroger was next, followed by The Home Depot and Costco.
“Companies that invested heavily in buy online, pick up in store in 2018 and 2019 were losing money on it then,” said Marcotte. “In 2020, it all paid off. If you didn’t have that capability, you had to scramble to build it.”
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to shifting consumer expectations, said Marcotte.
Retailers will need to “express a different value than last year. Last year it was, ‘We’re open, and we have stuff.’ This year it is, ‘We’re open, we’re a good place to go and we have people who can answer your questions.’ That is much harder and expensive to execute on.”
Last year was a good year for grocery stores, with major grocery chains holding six of the top 20 spots on this list. Most saw sales increase by double-digits.
This pattern may not extend to 2021, he noted, as shoppers have more options for spending their money.
It was not a great year for those selling makeup, as working from home became the norm for many.
The impact on apparel depended on the category. Department stores like Macy’s and JC Penney struggled while athletic brand Lululemon saw double-digit growth as athleisure wear became the outfit of choice for those working from home.
Looking ahead, the future of retail remains uncertain as logistics and supply chain issues linger, said Marcotte.
“The bottom line for retailers is they have to succeed in an up-and-down market,” Marcotte said. “They don’t have a choice. Being flexible is very much part of that expertise that we see in the Top 100.”
To read the full list, visit the NRF website