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“The biggest retailers on the latest edition of The Hoover’s 100 should come as no surprise to anyone, with most having been on the monthly list since its inception eight months ago,” said Tim Walker, Hoover’s industry analyst. “The news about these big retailers in the last couple of weeks ranges from pricing pressures, to website redesigns, to new online sales and marketing tactics.”
[Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.]
True to its bellwether nature, Wal-Mart is the only retailer that has consistently placed in the top 10 on The Hoover’s 100 every month. Among its many tactics, the retail behemoth lowered prices on high-end items in preparation for the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, forcing Best Buy and other retailers to do the same. Last month, Wal-Mart posted its first same-store sales decline in 10 years and warned that same-store sales would increase only slightly in December.
[Sears, Roebuck and Co.]
Sears jumped 20 spots to break onto The Hoover’s 100 for the first time this month. Sears Holdings, which owns Kmart and other retail operations alongside the flagship Sears department stores, made a splash in November with unusual financial news – its quarterly earnings more than tripled when compared to the prior year – but they did so as retail sales actually went down. Sears Holdings managed this trick thanks to big gains from complex derivatives transactions. Sears also touted a new Web service this holiday season that allows shoppers to order online and pick up their purchases in a store within five minutes.
Target has been on The Hoover’s 100 since its inception, and has held a spot in the top 10 for five out of eight months. The retailer posted better-than-expected results in November and offered an upbeat outlook for the remainder of the holiday season. The retailer plans to continue to increase comp-store sales and maintain its strong brand position, which is envied by its competitors. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice the copycat nature of the latest holiday TV commercials for various Target competitors, who are all scrambling to gain some of Target’s mind share. The company has also beat Wall Street's estimates by posting third-quarter financial results that show an 11% increase in revenues.
Amazon.com has been steadily climbing on The Hoover’s 100 list for the past four months. Although the online retailer has had some setbacks this year with the loss of a March court battle with Toys “R” Us that ended Amazon’s exclusive online contract, and two patent infringement lawsuits filed against it by IBM, Amazon forecasts strong sales through the end of the year and expects to deliver full-year sales 26% higher than in 2005. The online retailer is currently running a weekly contest leading up to Christmas, in which customers can vote for the item they’d like to purchase at a reduced price.
Top Retailers for Mid-December 2006:
Rank Company Change Last Month Months on List
1 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. nc 1 9
2 Target Corporation + 7 9
12 NIKE, Inc. - 11 9
16 The Gap Inc. + 17 9
29 Best Buy Co., Inc. + 33 9
39 Federated Department Stores, Inc. + 52 9
46 eBay Inc. + 57 9
49 Amazon.com, Inc. + 55 4
52 Limited Brands, Inc. + 54 9
86 Sears, Roebuck and Co. + 106 1
About Hoover’s, Inc.
Hoover’s, a D&B company, gives its customers a competitive edge with insightful information about industries, companies, and key decision makers. Hoover’s provides this up-to-date business information for sales, marketing, business development, and other professionals who need intelligence on U.S. and global companies, industries, and the people who lead them. This information, along with powerful tools to search, sort, download and integrate the content, is available through Hoover’s, the company’s premier online service. Hoover’s is also available through corporate intranets and distribution agreements with licensees, as well as via Hoover’s books. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas.