Value remains top of mind in apparel

A closer look at apparel retailers in NRF’s 2023 Top 100 Retailers list
Fiona Soltes
NRF Contributor

The National Retail Federation’s annual Top 100 Retailers list ranks retailers based on U.S. sales. Walmart remains in the leading spot, followed by Amazon, Costco, Kroger and The Home Depot. This series takes a look at power players in select retail categories.

Flashback: The 2022 Top 100 Retailers included a number of companies in the apparel and jewelry category that had seen U.S. growth of 50% or more in the previous year. That included Ross Stores, TJX Companies and Burlington. At the time the list was released, David Marcotte, senior vice president for Kantar, noted that the growth fell in line with shoppers having priorities other than merchandising or experience. In addition, he said, when department stores had challenges in 2020, overstocks ended up in this category, making for unique shopping.

2023 Top 100 Retailers List

NRF's Top 100 Retailers ranks the industry’s largest companies according to sales.

View the complete chart.

As time has moved on, these Power Players haven’t seen the same kind of growth. But as of the most recent list, they’ve managed to hold relatively steady. TJX Companies, the top category performer with $30.21 billion in U.S. retail sales in 2022, realized 0.9% sales growth since the previous year, and saw 3.6% growth in stores. It’s No. 16 on the 2023 Top 100 Retailers list, and was No. 15 the previous year.  Ross Stores (No. 27) dipped 1.2% in U.S. sales, but grew 4.7% in store count. Burlington (No. 51) saw the biggest change, dropping 6.7%, while experiencing store growth of 10.5%.

Burlington, however, is now focusing on adding “value” in fresh ways — to the lives of individuals and communities. Earlier this year, it announced a renewed community giving approach, teaming up with strategic charitable partners such as YouthBuild USA,, Delivering Good and Fundación Infantil Ronald McDonald of Puerto Rico. The effort includes evolving existing partnerships and establishing new relationships.


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