The wrong side of history

According to Forbes here were the top 10 most profitable retailers in 1990:

  1. Wal-Mart
  2. Food Lion
  3. The Limited
  4. Rite Aid
  5. Giant Food
  6. Melville
  7. JC Penney
  8. Albertson’s
  9. Service Merchandise
  10. Home Depot

Here’s the top ten from 2010:

  1. Wal-Mart
  2. CVS
  3. The Home Depot
  4. Target
  5. eBay
  6. Walgreen
  7. Lowe’s
  8. Best Buy
  9. TJX
  10. Costco

P.S. is #12 and likely to break into the top ten next year.

In just 20 years, most of 1990’s top ten have seen their financial performance plummet, gone out of business or had to be acquired to survive. The new leaders are companies that have consistently and aggressively innovated to stay at the forefront of customers’ wants and needs.

History tells us that a customer-centric strategy–paired with strong execution–wins. It also tells us that those who fail to respond to changing customer desires and innovative competitors will eventually face harsh punishment or mortal wounds.

Don’t fall on the wrong side of history.


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