Top 500 chain retailers look after the (web) store

It was the web—not stores—that drove growth for many chain retailers in 2010.

Mark Brohan

After a dismal 2009 at bricks-and-mortar stores, many retail chains reported improved comparable-store sales in 2010. But web sales grew much faster for many of the biggest chains ranked in the 2011 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and now account for a significantly larger part of their total sales.

Consider these facts:

E-commerce continues to outperform same-store sales at many chains because shoppers increasingly are researching products online, and then in many cases taking advantage of the speed and convenience of online retailing to complete a transaction, says Jim Okamura, managing director of Chicago retailing consulting firm Okamura Consulting.

“The chains are getting better at enhancing the user experience on their e-commerce sites and that’s accounting for more sales shifting from the stores to the web,” says Okamura. “Consumers know they can research product availability and price online and then go to the store, but once they are on a chain retailer’s site they’re choosing to complete their purchase online.”

More information about the 2011 edition of The Top 500 Guide is available by clicking here.


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