Each year, Forbes Magazine assesses America's small businesses to determine which ones deserve to be named the "best." To qualify as "small," a company must have had revenue between $5 million and $750 million in 2008. To quality as "best," a company must have achieved earnings growth, sales growth, and return on equity for its shareholders not just for 2008, but also over a five-year period.
In any year, gaining a spot on the Forbes "200 Best Small Companies" list is a big accomplishment that makes any small business proud. In 2008, the companies that performed well enough to earn a ranking beat the odds, beat the competition, beat the recession, and beat the entire Russell 2000. For some companies, a spot on the 2009 "Best Small Companies" list could be a high point in their entire history.
As proof that we're living in a topsy-turvy retail economy, the company at the top of the Forbes Best Small Companies List in 2009, did not even make the list in 2008. In a full-blown year of economic recession, construction slowdowns, and housing disaster, it seems impossible that a company that sells hardwood flooring could even survive. But Lumber Liquidators did just that, and somehow managed to also rocket to the top of a ranking list with very high standards for growth and profitability.
What follows is the list of U.S. retail industry companies that were ranked on the "200 Best Small Companies" list published by Forbes Magazine in 2009. The number in the left column indicates the ranking that the company was given, when compared with all other "small companies" in the U.S.
Forbes Magazine's 200 Best Small Retail Companies in 2009:
1 Lumber Liquidators
5 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
14 Jos A Bank Clothiers
15 PetMed Express
39 Buffalo Wild Wings
49 Red Hat
65 Citi Trends
78 Steven Madden
105 BJ's Restaurants
119 Nathan's Famous
126 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
134 Hibbett Sporting Goods
143 Peet's Coffee & Tea
173 Inter Parfums
192 California Pizza Kitchen
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