2014 Leading Retailers: Lessons from experience, and an eye to the future.

Retail stores come in almost as many sizes and shapes as the products they sell. From convenience stores to supercenters and huge clubs, consumers now have a choice of more formats than ever.

This special issue of Retail Leader looks at the current status, recent history and prospects of 10 selected CPG retail operations that demonstrate dynamic, potentially game-changing strategies. They include:

  • Walmart, the nation's No. 1 grocer, is trying to consolidate and burnish its grocery success;
  • Whole Foods stands out at the quality end of the grocery scale;
  • Wegmans, the family-owned chain, always manages to stay a step ahead of important trends;
  • Target is a huge mass retailer where food is playing an increasingly important role;
  • Aldi combines combines bare-bones operation with extensive use of store brands;
  • 7-Eleven, the world's biggest convenience chain, is increasing emphasis on fresh food;
  • Giant Eagle, one of the biggest private companies in grocery, enjoys undisputed primacy over its turf;
  • CVS, the No. 2 drugstore chain, shows healthy growth and increased market share;
  • HEB's versatility in both upscale and private label offerings has made for lasting success;
  • Amazon aggressively tests online full-service grocery delivery while looking to new markets.

The variety of size and accomplishments in our Leading Retailers means there's something here to learn for every retailer. There are no better lessons, it is said, than those learned from example.