Growth Ideas: Check Out The Top 10 Fastest Growing American Brands

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(By Becca Lipman)

Consumer confidence and spending have taken large hits since the 2008 financial crisis and again in August when market volatility and fears of job security began their violent roller coaster ride. But from the ashes of the retail bloodbath that followed there emerged some victors…

To find the year's winners, we looked at data compiled by RetailSails's 2011 Chain Store Productivity Report...

"While e-commerce, mobile and tablet commerce seem to get all the attention these days, more than 92% of all retail (excluding auto, gas & restaurant) sales in the U.S still occur in brick-and-mortar stores.

In this report, we analyze the store productivity of 178 U.S based retail chains. Collectively these companies operate over 200,000 stores with more than 4.6 billion square feet of store space, and generate over $1.5 trillion in retail sore sales over the past 4 quarters."

Without further ado, we list the top ten fastest growing American brands that have managed to defy the year's market turmoil to present solid growth in sales and revenue:

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1. Loft Outlets - Ann Taylo (ANN): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $137.5 million in sales and a 161.1% YoY change. AnnTaylor operates as a national retailer of upscale women's clothing. Its stores offer a full range of apparel and accessories under the names Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Studio, ATdenim, and Ann Taylor Petites. The company targets college-educated women between the ages of 25 and 55 who are employed in professional and managerial positions. AnnTaylor Inc. is headquartered in New York, New York.

2. Joe's Jeans (JOEZ): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $16.5 million in sales and a 114.9% YoY change. Joe's Jeans Inc. engages in the design, development, and marketing of apparel products worldwide. Its product line comprises women's and men's denim jeans, pants, shirts, sweaters, jackets, and other apparel products under the Joe's brand. The company also offers women's handbags and clutches, shoes, belts, and leather goods under various license agreements. In addition, it provides children's products consisting of denim bottoms, tops, T-shirts, and jackets for infants, toddlers, girls, and boys. Joe's Jeans Inc. was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Commerce, California.

3. Vera Bradley (VRA): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $77.8 million in sales and a 99.6% YoY change. The company also ranked #7 for the highest sales per square foot at $1,016/sqft. Vera Bradley, Inc., through its subsidiary, Vera Bradley Designs, Inc., engages in the design, production, marketing, and retail of functional accessories for women under the Vera Bradley brand. Its products include a range of handbags, accessories, and travel and leisure items. The company sells its products to independent retailers located in the United States, as well as to national retailers and third party e-commerce sites. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

4. Gilly Hicks - Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $47.4 million in sales and a 74.9% YoY change. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is principally engaged in the purchase, distribution and sale of men's, women's and kids' casual apparel. The company's retail activities are conducted under the Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie trade names through retail stores, a catalogue, a magazine/catalogue and a website, all bearing some form of the company name. Merchandise is targeted to appeal to customers in specialty markets who have distinctive consumer characteristics. The company was founded in 1892 and is headquartered in New Albany, Ohio.

5. Apple (AAPL): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $14109 million in sales and a 70.5% YoY change. The company also ranked #1 for the highest sales per square foot at $5,647/sqft. Apple Computer, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets personal computers and related personal computing and communicating solutions for sale primarily to education, creative, consumer, and business customers.

6. Under Armour (UA): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $223.6 million in sales and a 65.4% YoY change. The company also ranked #21 for the highest sales per square foot at $780/sqft. Under Armour, Inc. develops, markets, and distributes performance apparel, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and youth worldwide. It offers products made from moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics designed to regulate body temperature. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.

7. Francesca's (FRAN): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $164.8 million in sales and a 60.2% YoY change. Francesca's Holdings Corporation operates a chain of retail boutiques in the United States. The company's retail boutiques offer apparel, jewelry, accessories, and gifts to female customers. As of April 2, 2011, it operated 236 boutiques in 38 states. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

8. Lululemon Athletica (LULU): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $680.7 million in sales and a 41.7% YoY change. The company also ranked #4 for the highest sales per square foot at $1,800/sqft. Lululemon Athletica Inc., together with its subsidiaries engages in the design, manufacture, and distribution of athletic apparel and accessories for women, men, and female youth primarily in Canada, the United States, and Australia. Its apparel assortments include fitness pants, shorts, tops, and jackets for healthy lifestyle activities, such as yoga, running, and general fitness. It sells its products through its retail stores; independent franchises; and a network of wholesale accounts, such as yoga studios, health clubs, and fitness centers, as well as directly to consumers through e-commerce. Lululemon Athletica Inc. was founded in 1998 and is based in Vancouver, Canada.

9. True Religion (TRLG): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $202 million in sales and a 41.2% YoY change. The company also ranked #5 for the highest sales per square foot at $1,096/sqft. True Religion Apparel, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells apparel in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America. It offers fashion jeans and related sportswear apparel. The company provides various products for men, women, and children. The company sells its products through retail stores, wholesale sales teams, distributors, sales agents, boutiques, and specialty stores, as well as through its Web site. It also licenses its trademarks to third parties for manufacturing, marketing, and distributing various products. True Religion Apparel, Inc. is headquartered in Vernon, California.

10. Kate Spade - Liz Claiborne (LIZ): In the trailing four quarters, the company reported $115 million in sales and a 38.4% YoY change. The company also ranked #17 for the highest sales per square foot at $811/sqft. Juicy Courture, also of Liz Claiborne, ranked #23 at $725/sqft. Liz Claiborne, Inc. engages in the design and marketing of a range of apparel and accessories. It offers men's, women's, and children's contemporary apparel, denim and casual sportswear, fashion apparel, career and casual sportswear, intimate apparel, activewear, footwear, and jeanswear. The company also provides various wholesale non-apparel products, including accessories, jewelry, and handbags. It offers its products to department store chains and specialty retail store customers under the JUICY COUTURE, KATE SPADE, LUCKY BRAND, and MEXX; AXCESS, CLAIBORNE, CONCEPTS BY CLAIBORNE, LIZ & CO, LIZ CLAIBORNE, CLAIBORNE, LIZ CLAIBORNE NEW YORK, MARVELLA, MONET, TRIFARI, DANA BUCHMAN, MAC & JAC, KENSIE, DKNY ACTIVE, and DKNY JEANS brand names. The company was founded in 1976 and is based in New York.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks


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