While luxury fashion empire Christian Dior has easily held onto its spot as the world’s largest company focused on clothing, shoes and accessories, a number of apparel retailers are catching up.
Lululemon jumped a whopping 668 spots to No. 1480 on Forbes’s Global 2000 list of the world’s biggest public companies, as measured by a composite score of revenues, profits, assets and market value. The athletic clothing company, which made a name for itself selling women $100 yoga pants, is now making a push into items like deodorant, sneakers and men’s clothing. Under its new CEO Calvin McDonald, Lululemon’s revenue climbed 24% to $3.3 billion in 2018.
Foot Locker, which opened its first store in California in 1974, jumped 699 spots to No. 1671. While the sporting goods store maintains a significant mall presence, with more than 3,200 locations, it has been doubling down on its digital capabilities. It has invested in a host of digital-first companies, including putting $100 million into GOAT, which operates an online resale marketplace for sneakers. It has also invested millions in upstarts like women’s activewear brand Carbon38 and children’s apparel company Rockets of Awesome. Profits nearly doubled to $541 million in 2018.
While companies like Lululemon and Foot Locker are gaining ground, they aren’t exactly close to dislodging the world’s apparel giants from their perch. Dior climbed seven spots to No. 143 on the overall list and solidified its position as No. 1 in the apparel industry. Sales rose by double digits to $55 billion in 2018. The fashion house benefits from a 41% stake in its parent company, LVMH, which owns 70 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Dom Pérignon and Sephora.
The second-largest apparel company is Nike. The company’s return to growth and its buzzy Colin Kaepernick ad campaign have helped fuel the stock, which locked in a 19% gain in 2018. Rounding out the top three is Inditex, the Spanish fast-fashion giant that owns Zara. The company may not be growing at the rate it used to, but sales still edged up 6% to $31 billion in 2018.