Amazon.com has been ranked the "financially healthiest" retailer in the US for the second year in a row by an investment advice firm. Its strong online presence was the main factor in beating some 160 retailers.
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"Amazon.com has exploited the increasing availability of broadband internet and mobile technology to build a fast growing and highly efficient retailing super-power," said Michael O'Hara, CEO of investment banking firm Consensus Advisors which produced the research.
Amazon's strength reflects the growing importance of having a successful online offering and is supported by the continuing growth of brands like Asos.com.
Consensus Advisors' Retail Health Ratings uses measurements such as asset utilisation, pricing power, the strength of a company's balance sheet and growth.
Fashion retailers Aeropostale and Urban Outfitters were placed at numbers two and three. O'Hara said the companies in the top 10 had "used the exclusivity of their increasingly powerful, vertically-integrated brands to navigate the macro-economic trauma of the last 18 months by taking market share from their competitors, maintaining margins and inventory turns and avoiding debt".
The top 10 retailers in the US are: Amazon, Aeropostale, Urban Outfitters, CVS, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Coach, The Buckle, Guess and Lululemon Athletica.