Which indies are the ones to watch? Inc.
magazine has identified them for you. Nearly 200 retailers (many online) made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Ever hear of Nasty Gal? Well, you will. The online fashion store focuses on handpicked vintage items, selections from up-and-coming designers, and — as of Aug. 27 — its own line of edgy apparel. Nasty Gal is the list's top retailer, coming in at No. 11 with an eye-popping 10,160% growth (yes, that's a comma, not a decimal). In fact, 24 retailers made the list within a list — the Inc. 500, which this year was the most competitive to date. To make the 500 cut, companies needed a staggering minimum of 770% in sales growth over the past three years.
Not only can companies on the 500|5000 list go on to become well-known brands (think Zappos and Jamba Juice), but as you might guess, not all remain indies. This year, Five Below, which ranked 1327 on the list, filed an IPO. Targeting the teen and tween market, the chain keeps price points below $5. And occasionally, a brand is already well-known beforehand; Michaels, which was privatized in 2007, made the list with 10% growth over the past three years.
California is home to the most retailers on the list at 29, while Florida and New York had 14 each.