Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA) is the largest drug retailer in America. Walgreens employs approximately 248,000 people and operates 8,678 stores throughout the 50 states; Washington DC; Puerto Rico; and Guam. Walgreens’ products include over-the-counter medicine and consumer products, pharmacy services, and photo services. Walgreens has expanded through a series of strategic acquisitions. In March 2011, Walgreens acquired Drugstore.com and Beauty.com. Two years later, Beauty. com was named by Internet Retailer Magazine in its Top 100 online retail sites list. In July 2012, Walgreens paid $6.7 billion for a 45% stake in Alliance Boots and acquired a drug store chain that included USA Drug, Super D Drug, May’s Drug, Med-X, and Drug Warehouse. In 2014 Walgreens purchased the remaining 55% stake in Switzerland-based Alliance Boots that it did not already own. A new holding company was created that now trades as WBA in lieu of the previous WAG ticker. Walgreens also maintains a commercial book of pharmacy business through multiyear agreements with Express Scripts, Caremark, and other commercial payers. Walgreens was included in Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list for the 20th consecutive year and was ranked 37th overall in revenue on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S.-based companies.
Sherwin-Williams (NYSE: SHW) is a Fortune 500 company founded in 1866. It manufactures, distributes, and sells general building materials including paints, coatings, and related products to professional and retail customers throughout the Americas and Europe. It is the largest coatings manufacturer in the United States and the third largest in the world, operating facilities in well over 100 countries. Sherwin-Williams products are sold under Dutch Boy, Krylon, Minwax, Thompson’s, and Water Seal brands. Sherwin-Williams-branded products are sold in over 4,000 company-owned stores while its other brands are carried by other retailers, hardware stores, and industrial distributors. The company operates in four segments: Paint Stores Group, Consumer Group, Global Finishes Group, and Latin America Coatings Group. As of December 31, 2016, its Paint Stores Group segment operated 4,180 company-operated specialty paint stores; Global Finishes Group segment operated 288 company operated branches; and Latin America Coatings Group segment operated 339 company-operated stores.
Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) is an aftermarket retailer of automotive parts and supplies as well as a provider of auto maintenance services. It operates nearly 4,000 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and employs about 55,000 team members. Advance Auto Parts typically has about 19,000 SKUs in each store and access to 115,000 SKUs at regional centers. Customers have access to nearly half a million SKUs by ordering directly from vendors. Many products include a “good, better, best” recommendation, and Team Members have access to a system to help customers choose the best product; this embodies Advance Auto Parts’ promise, “Service is our best part.”® Additionally, each store generally has two “part pros” with extensive knowledge and experience in auto maintenance. The current increase in new vehicle sales provides opportunities to demonstrate their two key strategies of Superior Availability and Service Leadership and to lead the way for service providers by improving delivery speed and reliability, leveraging supply chain advancement, and continuing to open new stores in new markets.
Hobby Lobby Stores
Hobby Lobby, Stores, Inc. owns and operates a chain of over 600 arts and craft stores throughout the United States, which are estimated to employ over 23,000 individuals. The average store is over 55,000 square feet, and offers more than 70,000 arts, crafts, hobbies, home decor, Holiday, and seasonal products. Hobby Lobby ranks 138th on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies, ahead of competitors Jo-Ann Stores, LLC, Hancock Fabrics, Inc., and The Michaels Companies, Inc. Hobby Lobby is privately held and does not carry any long-term debt. The company has pledged to serve employees and their families through the work environment, a culture molded to build character, and operating procedures designed to facilitate a healthy work-life balance. It pays a minimum full-time hourly wage that is more than 90% above the federal standard, and offers a generous benefit plan that includes medical, dental, prescription drug, long-term disability, and life insurances. The company also substantially supports several charitable organizations and gives discounts to charities and schools.
Dollar General (NYSE: DG) is one of the nation’s largest small-box discount retailers. Dollar General has over 121,000 employees operating over 13,300 locations in 43 states. It strives to make shopping for everyday needs simpler and hassle-free by offering a carefully selected assortment of the most popular brands at low everyday prices in small, convenient locations. Dollar General Corporation was founded in 1939 and is based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.
Family Dollar is one of the nation’s largest small-box discount retailers. It has over 50,000 employees operating a chain of over 7,900 stores across 45 states primarily serving low- to middle-income consumers. It serves smaller neighborhoods with a focused selection of major brand names and private label brands to reduce costs, lower prices, and provide easier access for the end customer. In 2015 Family Dollar became a wholly owned subsidiary of Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR).
Tractor Supply Co.
Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ: TSCO) is a leading chain of retail stores that each carry products related to home improvement, agriculture, truck maintenance, livestock, equine care, and household pet care. It employs over 17,000 individuals and operates over 1,200 stores across 47 states. Stores are strategically located in towns outlying major metropolitan areas and in rural communities. It was listed by Forbes among the 100 fastest growing businesses.