Like number three-ranked Costco, Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart, is a membership-only warehouse club. For the annual fee, shoppers can buy everything from baby diapers to flat-screen TVs to fresh fruit to dining room sets. It also operates gas stations, which is certainly appealing to shoppers seeking a slight discount in gas prices. This particular chain, which boasts several hundred locations nationwide, serves more than 47 million U.S. members.
8. J.C. PENNEY
The Plano, Tex.-based midtier department store chain features everything from houseware brands like Cuisinart and Farberware to apparel brands such as Nicole by Nicole Miller and Liz & Co. Another popular section of the store: children’s wear, where Carter’s and Izod brands can be found. To cope with the economic downturn, WWD reported in April that the $19.9 billion retailer is reducing store openings to 36 from 50 and is scaling back on growth and stepping up product development.
Carrying brands such as Badgley Mischka, Laundry, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson and BCBG Max Azria, this luxury department store is also owned by Macy’s Inc. “Bloomingdale’s has a huge following, and it has a trusted reputation as a luxury retailer,” Danziger said. Bloomingdale’s may be making a move overseas, WWD reported this spring. The chain has been exploring locations in the Middle East and Asia, and it appears that the first stop might be the Dubai Mall, which is slated for a late 2008 or 2009 opening. It will be the world’s largest mall.
10. NEIMAN MARCUS
“What distinguishes this [Dallas-based] retailer from any other luxury department stores is its absolute focus on designer brands,” Danziger said. “You have to go in there knowing which designer to look for. That requires a level of sophisticated consumer, which is reflective of the brand’s devoted client base.” Everything from high-end designers, such as Dolce & Gabbana and Oscar de la Renta, to cosmetic brands like Bobbi Brown and Lancôme, to jewelry and accessories brands from Judith Ripka, Oliver Peoples and many others, can be found here.