SOURCE: Lebhar-Friedman Inc.

June 12, 2006 12:03 ET

Top 150 Retailers End Year Up 7.6%

Retailing Today Annual 'Census' Attributes Growth to Supercenters, Warehouse Clubs and Specialty Chains

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 12, 2006 -- The retail industry posted solid growth for the recently ended fiscal year, with sales among the nation's 150 largest chains increasing to $1.49 trillion, up more than $106 billion, or 7.6%, according to a report released this morning by Retailing Today, a leading retail trade journal.

The Top 150 Annual Industry Report chronicles year-over-year change among the nation's largest retailers and serves as an unofficial state-of-the-industry report. Among this year's findings, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. held the rank of No.1 retailer for the 15th year in a row with more than $315 billion in total revenue, followed by The Home Depot ($81.5 billion), Kroger ($60.5 billion), Sears Holdings ($54.2 billion) and Costco ($42.6 billion). Other standouts for the year include Target, Lowe's, Walgreens, CVS, Best Buy and Supervalu, all of which posted double-digit sales increases. The channels of trade that experienced the healthiest growth for the year were supercenters, up 17.8%, home goods specialty chains, up 13%, and warehouse clubs, up 8.6%, among others.

"This year's Top 150 retailer census reveals a period of intense activity among the nation's largest retail chains, as everyone jockeyed for a piece of this increasingly competitive market," said Retailing Today editor-in-chief Tim Craig. "In addition to endless examples of new merchandising initiatives, the most progressive, pro-active retail companies also turned to areas such as new prototype development, in-store technology, cause marketing and creative vendor alliances in their ongoing efforts to differentiate themselves from the pack."

The Top 150 Annual Industry Report is a proprietary 20-page financial research project published in conjunction with the June 12 issue of Retailing Today. The full report tracks sales, earnings and store count for the nation's 150 largest retail companies, as well as M&A activity, bankruptcy filings, sales by retail channel, private-equity investment, and in-depth profiles of the year's Top 10 retailers.

In addition to the annual print version, Retailing Today announced this morning the launch of the E-150, a free interactive Web-based version of the Top 150 Annual Industry Report. For more information about the full report, or to access the free version of the E-150, visit www.retailingtoday.com.

About Retailing Today

Retailing Today is the leading bi-weekly news magazine written about and for the nation's top 150 retailers. Specializing in news and analysis of the highest-volume retail businesses, as well as the five major product categories they trade in, including apparel, food, home, consumer electronics and hardlines, Retailing Today has been published and distributed bi-weekly, since 1962, to the headquarters of major retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. In addition to its core print products, the Retailing Today group also publishes an extensive offering of digital content through its website at www.retailingtoday.com.

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