Dallas-Fort Worth is a good place to climb the corporate ladder. The Lone Star State is well represented on the National Retail Federation trade association's annual list of the top 100 retailers in America, with eight of the companies hailing from DFW.
In the top 50 are Dallas-based 7-Eleven (No. 32); Dallas-based AT&T Wireless (No. 35); and Plano-based J.C. Penney Co. (No. 38).
Dallas-based Army & Air Force Exchange landed at No. 61; GameStop, based in Grapevine, came in at No. 69; Irving-based craft store Michaels earned a spot at No. 88; Irving-based oil behemoth Exxon Mobil Corp. found its way to No. 92; and iconic Dallas luxury legend Neiman Marcus just barely cracked the top 100 at No. 93.
The list was compiled with information from Kantar Consulting and ranks the industry’s largest companies according to sales. "The list has changed very little over the past several years, thanks to retailers working smartly to modernize and reinvigorate their strategies and retail’s measured pace of change," the NRF says on its website.
The big Texas winner on the list was San Antonio-based HEB grocery store. Everyone has their favorite grocery store, but something about H-E-B inspires a fanatical devotion usually reserved for boy bands. That fandom helped propel it to become not only the top grossing retailer in Texas, but one of the top retailers in the nation.
Based on 2017 stats, H-E-B landed at No. 20 on the list with a whopping $21.94 billion in sales, coming in ahead of powerhouses like Kohl’s, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Wendy’s.
The ranking is even more impressive when you consider H-E-B’s number of stores. A handful of other grocers made the top 20, but H-E-B reached its figure with only 330 stores. Compare that to Florida’s Publix Super Markets (No. 15) who made $34.56 billion with 1,384 locations or Illinois-based discount grocer Aldi, who netted $25.86 billion with 2,250 outposts.
What inspired so many Texans to open up their wallets? The NRF didn’t offer any context, but in June, professional services firm KPMG LLP conducted a study asking U.S. consumers to rate their feelings on 250 national brands. H-E-B landed at No. 4 among those companies in large part due to its focus on local communities through programs that honor educators and invest in area nonprofits.
The grocery giant also endears itself to Texans by being a great place to work. In late July, Forbes ranked H-E-B as one of America’s 300 best workplaces for women, using data that covered everything from diversity to working conditions.