The concept of general merchants has come a long way since it first came into use in the mid-1800s. Initially, there were small-town general stores that were locally owned. People usually had to drive a little to shop at these stores. Today, these small-town general stores have been replaced by mega general merchandisers that attract customers by offering deep discounts on everyday items. These merchandisers spend heavily on promotions and offer a wide variety of items with prompt customer service and a comfortable atmosphere in which to shop. Let’s take a look at the top ten general merchandisers.
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Top Ten General Merchandisers
We have used the latest available revenue numbers to rank the top ten general merchandisers. Additionally, we have considered only Fortune 1000 companies for our list. Here are the top ten general merchandisers:
PriceSmart (>$3.223 billion)
Founded in 1994, this company manages and operates membership warehouse clubs. PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT) has the following business segments: Caribbean Operations, Colombia Operations, Central American Operations and United States Operations. Its stock has lost more than 18% YTD and over 14% in the last three months. The company reported a profit of more than $77 million in 2020, up from $72 million in 2019. PriceSmart is headquartered in San Diego, California and employs more than 8,000 people.
Dillard's (>$6.343 billion)
Founded in 1938, this company sells cosmetics, home furnishings, fashion apparel and other consumer goods. Dillard's, Inc. (NYSE:DDS) has the following business segments: Retail Operations and Construction. Its stock has gained more than 270% YTD and over 30% in the last three months. The company reported a profit of more than $111 million in 2019, compared to a loss of over $70 million in 2020. Dillard's is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas and employs more than 30,000 people.
JC Penney (>$11.167 billion)
Founded in 1902, this company operates a chain of mid-range department stores. JC Penney offers apparel, accessories, beauty products, home furnishings and other products. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2020, and it is now owned by Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group. JC Penney is now a private company. JC Penney is headquartered in Plano, Texas.
BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings (>$13.19 billion)
Founded in 1984, BJ's is a membership-only warehouse club chain that operates on the East Coast and in Ohio. BJs Wholesale Club Holdings Inc (NYSE:BJ) sells groceries, electronics, computers, tablets, toys, furniture, beauty and health products, and other items. Its stock has gained more than 55% YTD and over 18% in the last three months. BJ's Wholesale Club is headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts and employs more than 27,000 people.
Nordstrom (>$15.524 billion)
Founded in 1901, Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) is a fashion specialty retailer that sells cosmetics, apparel, shoes, and accessories for children, men, and women. Nordstrom sells a selection of brand-name and private-label merchandise. Its stock has lost more than 5% YTD and over 6% in the last three months. Nordstrom is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and employs more than 70,000 people.
Kohl's (>$19.974 billion)
Founded in 1988, Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS) is a family-oriented department store that sells footwear, soft home products, apparel, and accessories for women, men, and children. Its stock has gained more than 20% YTD but is down over 1% in the last three months. Kohl's is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and employs more than 79,000 people.
Macy's (>$25.331 billion)
Founded in 1858, Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) is an omnichannel retailer that offers fashion, home décor, beauty and other products. Macy's owns the following brands: Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Bluemercury. Its stock has gained more than 130% YTD and over 50% in the last three months. Macy's is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and employs more than 120,000 people.
Target (>$78.112 billion)
Founded in 1962, this company operates and owns general merchandise stores. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) also sells food items, such as dairy, perishables, frozen, and dry grocery items. Its stock has gained more than 47% YTD and almost 1% in the last three months. Target is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and employs more than 350,000 people.
Costco Wholesale (>$152.703 billion)
Founded in 1983, Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) is a membership warehouse club that offers members the best possible prices on quality products. Costco offers a wide selection of merchandise, exclusive member services, and the convenience of specialty departments. Its stock has gained more than 30% YTD and over 15% in the last three months. Costco Wholesale is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington and employs more than 200,000 people.
Walmart (>$523.964 billion)
Founded in 1962, Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) is a multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of discount department and warehouse stores. Walmart has the following business segments: Sam’s Club, Walmart International and Walmart U.S. Its stock has gained more than 4% YTD and over 5% in the last three months. Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and employs more than 2.3 million people.