(Editors' Note: This is part three of a three-part series)
A highly favorable macroeconomic climate helped retailers in the 2020 edition of the PG 100 generate a combined $1.869 trillion in sales, up 5.7% from prior-year sales of $1.768 trillion. The wealth was spread evenly among PG 100 constituents, with 86 of the companies listed showing sales growth versus 14 that saw sales decline.
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Successful operators such as Ahold Delhaize USA, Publix Super Markets, H-E-B and Meijer all grew sales by healthy amounts. Leading Canadian food retailers such as Loblaw and Sobeys also turned in respectable performances. Meanwhile, retailers such as Aldi and Dollar General ascended the PG 100 through aggressive store expansion and a low-price value proposition that resonated with shoppers. German discounter Lidl debuted at No. 95 on the list and appears to be headed higher, with more new stores in its pipeline. Conversely, online meal kit provider and 98th-ranked Blue Apron, once considered a disruptive force, is poised to fall off the list as its business trends have deteriorated.
Overall, 2019 was a year that saw the biggest retailers get a lot bigger, with the U.S. sales of the top 20 companies on the list accounting for combined sales of $1.487 trillion, or 79.3% of the PG 100’s combined sales of $1.869 trillion. The prior year, the top 20 companies accounted for 79.5% of total sales of $1.7 trillion. The sales concentration was especially pronounced among the top 10 companies, which accounted for roughly 15% of the PG 100 sales.
Here’s a look at the top 10 retailers on the PG 100 and some of the noteworthy developments that drove their performance: