Some of the best retailers in the U.S. have had high-performing stocks in the last 10 years. In fact, if you’ve invested in some of the biggest retailers in the last decade, you’re probably pretty happy with the returns. Yet, whether these stocks are good investments today depends on their future prospects.
Although this list probably won’t make you a bundle today, it’s entertaining to look at historical stock market performance. The investment returns are calculated from July 1, 2006, through June 25, 2016, unless otherwise noted.
Take a look at the following best-performing retail stocks of the last decade, listed from lowest to highest annualized rates of return. Then, be sure to click through for tips on how to spot good stocks to invest in today.
20. Target Corp. (TGT)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $39.88
Stock price June 25, 2016: $69.35
Annualized return, according to dqydj.com: 5.60 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006, according to dqydj.com: $1,724.27
The well-merchandised Target brand spans the product spectrum: food, home goods, personal care, music, movies, books, sporting goods, toys, electronics, apparel for the entire family, jewelry, shoes and more, according to the company’s profile on Yahoo Finance. You’ll find Target products both online and in stores.
19. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $38.26
Stock price June 25, 2016: $71.96
Annualized return: 6.45 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $1,866.60
Thinking about investing in Walmart stock? This retail behemoth operates worldwide with its Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam’s Club stores. Its store varieties include discount stores, supermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, home improvement stores, specialty electronics stores, apparel stores, drugstores, convenience stores and membership-only warehouse clubs, according to Yahoo.
18. Finish Line Inc. (FINL)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $10.49
Stock price June 25, 2016: $20.45
Annualized return: 6.82 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $1,934.03
Finish Line Inc. is a U.S.-based retailer of sports shoes, clothing and accessories. The two divisions are the Finish Line and JackRabbit. Finish Line also fulfills Macy’s athletic shoes departments both online and in-house, according to Yahoo. The online Finish Line brand operates JackRabbit.com and BoulderRunningCompany.com.
17. Walgreens (WBA)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $37.47
Stock price June 25, 2016: $81.78
Annualized return for former ticker WAG from July 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2014: 8.44 percent
Value on Dec. 31, 2014 of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $1,990.42
The Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., is a pharmacy-driven health and wellness company. It has three segments, including retail pharmacy U.S.A., retail pharmacy international and pharmaceutical wholesale, according to Yahoo. In many locations, the retail pharmacy U.S.A. transitioned into small grocery and convenience stores.
The company reach includes Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, specialty clinics, Boots Pharmaceuticals, Botanics, optical stores and more. And among the many giant retailers, it offers plenty of ways to save money on everyday items.
16. Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (DNKN)
Stock price July 27, 2011 — earliest date available: $25.38
Stock price June 25, 2016: $42.32
Annualized return, July 30, 2011, to June 25, 2016: 9.95 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 30, 2011: $1,593.37
The Dunkin’ Brands Group includes both the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands worldwide. Its product menu includes coffee, pastries, sandwiches, ice cream, yogurt and other delectable treats. The Baskin-Robbins shops focus on the frozen treat items, while Dunkin’ carries the rest. In addition to corporate-owned stores, Dunkin’ franchisees own stores in the U.S. and abroad, according to Yahoo.
15. Foot Locker, Inc. (FL)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $18.05
Stock price June 25, 2016: $53.11
Annualized return: 11.36 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $2,929.24
If you’re seeking athletic clothing and shoes, Foot Locker sells its merchandise in-store and online. Foot Locker, Inc., stores include Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Footaction, SIX:02, Runners Point and Sidestep. The company was founded in 1879.
14. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $25.81
Stock price June 25, 2016: $77.06
Annualized return: 11.49 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $2,964.40
Similar to Home Depot, this big-box home improvement retailer sells home maintenance, repair, remodeling and decorating products. Its categories span lumber and building materials, tools and hardware, appliances, fashion fixtures, lawn and garden and more. Lowe’s also broadens its reach by offering third-party installation and repair services, according to Yahoo.
13. Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $17.24
Stock price June 25, 2016: $54.68
Annualized return: 12.44 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $3,225.68
Founded in 1985, the Starbucks Corporation roasts, markets and sells specialty coffee worldwide. Its stores also offer food, retail products and more. The Starbucks brands include Starbucks, Teavana, Tazo, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Ethos, Starbucks VIA, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Frappuccino, Starbucks Doubleshot, Starbucks Refreshers and Starbucks Discoveries Iced Café Favorites, according to Yahoo.
12. Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $46.09
Stock price June 25, 2016: $155.56
Annualized return: 13.04 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $3,404.38
Costco’s membership warehouses sell branded and private-label products in an expansive range of categories. From food to appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, garden and clothing. Additionally, Costco operates gas stations, pharmacies, food courts, optical and hearing aid centers, and more, according to Yahoo.
11. CVS Health Corporation (CVS)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $27.29
Stock price June 25, 2016: $93.54
Annualized return: 13.13 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $3,428.92
CVS is more than a corner drugstore. This major retailer provides health and household products, as well as integrated pharmacy and healthcare services. The company stores include CVS Pharmacy, CVS, Longs Drugs, Navarro Discount Pharmacy and Drogaria Onofre, and are located in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Brazil, according to Yahoo.
10. The Kroger Co. (KR)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $9.39
Stock price June 25, 2016: $35.14
Annualized return: 14.07 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $3,725.59
Not just a grocery store chain, The Kroger Co. is a major U.S. retailer. The company manufactures and sells food in its supermarkets. In addition, the company has its hand in drugstores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and more, according to Yahoo. Some of its operating brands include Ralphs, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, as well as Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands.
9. Carter’s, Inc. (CRI)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $25.58
Stock price June 25, 2016: $103.20
Annualized return: 14.85 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $3,987.47
Carter’s broad reach includes Carter’s, Child of Mine, Just One You, Precious Firsts, OshKosh and other brands. Its products span the baby and children’s market with toys, clothes and accessories. You can outfit your baby or child at a stand-alone Carter’s outlet, or find its products merchandised at various department stores, according to Yahoo.
8. The Home Depot, Inc. (HD)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $27.45
Stock price June 25, 2016: $126.40
Annualized return: 16.49 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $4,594.44
The Home Depot, Inc., offers everything required for your home improvement projects — from building materials, lawn and garden products, to paint and closet organizing systems. Through third-party partnerships, the company has broadened its offerings to include roofing, siding, windows, cabinet refacing, furnaces and central air systems, along with installation services, according to Yahoo.
7. McDonald’s Corp. (MCD)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $24.36
Stock price June 25, 2016: $119.44
Annualized return: 17.15 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $4,861.79
Since 1940, McDonald’s restaurants pioneered the fast-food industry. The company serves food, drinks and dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The company has branched out and customized its offerings throughout Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Canada and Latin America, according to Yahoo.
6. Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (AAP)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $27.74
Stock price June 25, 2016: $154.52
Annualized return: 18.74 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $5,565.03
If it’s car-related, then you can probably buy it at Advance Auto Parts, Inc. The company and its subsidiaries offer an expansive list of auto parts. Its services include product installations and auto systems testing, as well.
5. The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $10.09
Stock price June 25, 2016: $74.66
Annualized return: 22.56 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $7,633.13
Another bargain hunter’s paradise, the TJX family includes T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and several other entities in the U.S. and abroad. This shopper’s wonderland sells off-price clothing, shoes, accessories and home goods, according to Yahoo. The company was established in 1956.
4. Dollar General Corporation (DG)
Stock price Nov. 13, 2009, the date the company went public: $22.33
Stock price June 25, 2016: $92.13
Annualized return: 23.56 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on Nov. 13, 2009: $4,053.23
Dollar General stores offer a vast array of food, cleaning, clothing, personal care, toys, small electronics, prepaid phones, gardening, hardware and other products for rock-bottom prices. Its stores are located throughout the South, Southwest, Midwest and Eastern sections of the U.S., according to Yahoo.
3. Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $6.31
Stock price June 25, 2016: $54.42
Annualized return: 24.04 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $8,603.89
Treasure-hunt at Ross and its subsidiaries for off-price clothing, accessories and home décor items. From shoes to dog beds, Ross offers items at 20 to 60 percent off department store prices, according to Yahoo.
2. Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $8.83
Stock price June 25, 2016: $91.89
Annualized return: 26.52 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $10,490.37
Dollar Tree, Inc., has two segments: Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. Shopping at the Dollar Tree, you’ll find an abundance of branded goods all for $1 or less. Family Dollar offers well-known brands at rock-bottom prices. Both store brands span the shopping sphere with everyday household items, including paper goods, food, toys, durable housewares, gifts, party goods and greeting cards, as well as seasonal merchandise for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas, according to Yahoo.
1. Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
Stock price July 1, 2006: $38.68
Stock price June 25, 2016: $698.96
Annualized return: 33.60 percent
Value today of $1,000 invested on July 1, 2006: $18,070.32
Amazon has grown from a bookseller to the purveyor of everything. Through its international and third-party partnerships, you can buy electronics, tablets, books, clothes, toys, televisions, mobile phones, household items and more, according to Yahoo. The company is also venturing into television production and co-branded credit cards.
Best Stocks to Buy
Just because stocks have performed well in the past doesn’t guarantee they’ll continue to grow into the future. Use these business ratios to find good stock prospects:
Price earnings (PE) ratio: This is the price an investor pays for $1 of a company’s earnings. Divide the current price with the current earnings per share to find the ratio. Compare this ratio to the industry and the company’s past PE ratio to find out if the company seems over- or undervalued.
Current ratio: Company’s current assets vs. current liabilities. The higher ratio means the company has more cash to pay off its current liabilities, according to the American Association of Individual Investors.
Debt-to-equity ratio: This ratio explains the percent of a company’s total equity that is financed by debt. Keep this one within a reasonable range for the industry, according to the AAII.
Net profit margin: This margin compares a company’s net income to net revenue. The wider the margin, the more profitable the company, according to the AAII.
Return on equity: This ratio measures the company’s net income, less preferred dividends, with total stockholder’s equity, according to the AAII. Higher is better.
Read More: 10 Coolest Stocks to Invest In
About the Author
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS, brings decades of finance and investing experience. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Science degree in student affairs administration and counseling from Miami University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Penn State University in finance.