June 8, 2007, 12:00 AM

Smaller retailers boast biggest growth in 2007 Top 500

The 100 smallest retailers in the Internet Retailer 2007 Top 500 Guide outran the Top 100 in web sales increases. Sales grew by 23% and 19% respectively.

The 100 smallest retailers in the Internet Retailer 2007 Top 500 Guide outperformed the Top 100 in web sales increases, growing by 23% and 19% respectively. The industry average growth rate remained at 25%, compared to growth for all Top 500 companies at 21.3%.

Sales growth among the smallest e-retailers indicates that the web continues to be fertile soil that creates a national market for niche players, said Kurt Peters, editor-in-chief of Internet Retailer magazine, at a general session in this week’s Internet Retailer 2007 Conference & Exhibition in San Jose, CA.

Further evidence that the Internet enables the meek to compete with the mighty: the Top 25 retailers grew their combined 2006 sales to $52.9 billion, up 185 from $44.8 billion in 2005. By contrast, younger companies – those in business since 2004 – grew by 55%, from $319 million in 2005 to $494 million in 2006.

The largest retailers still racked up imposing numbers and the ranks of billion-dollar retailers rose to 17 from 14 in 2006, Peters said. And total sales for the bottom 300 retailers were equal to Amazon.com’s sales growth in 2006 of $2.2 billion.

Among the largest online retailers, familiar names held down the top spots: Amazon.com was No. 1 as it was last year, followed by Staples and Office Depot – who flipped positions from the 2006 rankings. However, keeping up with or exceeding the industry’s 25% growth rate was accomplished only by Amazon and Staples at 26% and 29%.

Click here for more information on the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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