How Many Retailers Can Say: 'Half of America Shops Here'?

Walmart tops the list, but not many make the cut

April 11, 2017

More than nine of 10 US consumers made a purchase at Walmart in 2016, according to new data from the NPD Group.

The new "Checkout Penetration Index" offers a different way of thinking about market penetration, asking simply what percentage of consumers bought at a particular store or restaurant. Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Dollar Tree and CVS made up the top 5 for retailers.

NPD said Dollar Tree, at 71%, was the biggest gainer among the retailers on the list, rising 3 percentage points over the previous year. Chick-fil-A topped the gainers among restaurants, increasing by 5 percentage points.

The list has some surprises, including Michaels Stores, which registered 38%. At that level, it's just 4 percentage points behind

On the other hand, the list looks pretty similar to a ranking based on sheer square footage. Here are the top 10 retailers in the US, based simply on total square footage, according to the eMarketer Retail and Restaurant companies database:

1. Walmart (includes Sam's Club) - 1.2 billion square feet
2. Target - 239.5 million square feet
3. The Home Depot - 237.4 million square feet
4. Lowe's - 213.4 million square feet
5. Kroger - 177.8 million square feet
6. Dollar Tree (includes Family Dollar) - 132.1 million square feet
7. Walgreens Boots Alliance (includes Duane Read) - 131 million square feet
8. Macy's - 130.2 million square feet
9. Dollar General - 121.7 million square feet
10. Costco - 105.1 million square feet  
(Totals include international outlets)

Photo credit: Walmart