Under Armour ranked as 5th fastest-growing retailer in U.S.

August 02, 2012|Lorraine Mirabella

In a race to beat other retailers in sales growth, Under Armourmay not have won gold,  but the athletic apparel brand secured fifth place - not bad out of a field of 100.

The Baltimore company was the fifth fastest growing retailer in the U.S. last year, with a 63 percent leap in annual domestic sales, according to an industry list released today.

The Hot 100 Retailers, Stores magazine's ranking of the nation's fastest-growing chains based on year-over-year domestic sales, lists an organic supermarket, smart phone providers and merchants in high-end workout apparel and accessories categories in the top 10.

Another Maryland retailer, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, also earned distinction, becoming one of only a dozen retailers that has made the list for seven consecutive years. The Hampstead-based men's apparel chain ranked 28th, with 14 percent U.S. sales growth last year.

The fastest-growing retailers are those most attuned to shopping trends, said Susan Reda, media editor of Stores, produced by the publishing group of the National Retail Federation.

"These merchants have a razor sharp focus on today's consumer," Reda said in an announcement of the list, published each year in the August issue. All public and private companies with more than $300 million in sales were eligible.

UPDATE: At the Baltimore-based athletic apparel powerhouse, "The Under Armour retail business is very important to us as a growth business," said Henry Stafford, senior vice president of apparel, accessories and retail, in an emailed response.  

Under Armour sells its athletic wear in its own outlet stores and specialty stores as well as in sporting goods, mall and department stores.

"We plan on continuing to grow with these great partners in the years to come," Stafford  said.

Topping the Stores list is Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market, a 109-store chain of small organic supermarkets, with 72 percent sales growth last year.

Others in the top 10 include:

2. Verizon Wireless, with 69 percent growth

3. Michael Kors Holdings, 65.4 percent

4. Lululemon Athletica, 64.9 percent

5. Under Armour, 63 percent

6. CARE Pharmacies, 57.5 percent

7. Amazon.com, 42.5 percent

8. Lowe's Market Place, 39 percent

9.  Apple Stores/iTunes, 37 percent

10. AT&T Wireless, 30 percent

Under Armour, which designs and sells athletic apparel, Michael Kors, a men's and women's apparel and accessories retailer, and Lululemon, a yoga and running apparel retailer, are known for hyper-loyal customer bases and high-end merchandise and have staying power in a shaky economy, the NRF said.

Jos. A. Bank was joined by 11 others that have made the list since its inception in 2006, including Amazon.com, Ascena Retail Group, O'Reilly Automotive, Urban Outfitters, Tractor Supply Co., Dick's Sporting Goods, J.Crew Group, Dollar Tree, Walgreen, Ross Storesand PetSmart.

The fastest growing restaurants were recognized separately. Among the top 10 were Five Guys, Jimmy John's, Chipotle Mexican Grill, BJ's Restaurants, Cheddar's Casual Cafe, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panda Restaurant Group (Panda Express). Noodles & Company, Wingstop Restaurants and Chick-fil-A.

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