Stores, the National Retail Federation's magazine, recently released its list of the top 100 largest retailers based on 2002's sales results. The usual suspects occupied the top three slots, but there was a bit of shuffling down below.
Wal-Mart has changed everything in retailing. Its influence reaches so widely that -- love it or hate it -- you can't deny its presence. In fact, because of the company, Fayetteville, Ark. (which is near Wal-Mart's Bentonville), recently surpassed Las Vegas, Nev., as the fastest-growing place in America. Making Arkansas an economic mecca? Now that's power.
Warehouse supernova Costco
Three of the main movers -- Target, Lowe's, and Costco -- all share innovation as a common trait for success. They've all differentiated themselves, their products, and their approaches from their larger competitors. Wal-Mart may remain entrenched at the top, but expect these three to keep shaking things up below as time goes on.