25 companies that are revolutionising retail

Pirch shower Courtesy PirchHome store Pirch lets people test everything — even the showers.

The way people shop is changing every day.

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and innovations in delivery and data, the retail landscape is evolving like never before.

We selected 25 companies that are revolutionising the industry.

From an established e-commerce giant deploying drones to an inventive new pizza chain, here are the consumer companies making big impacts.

Zulily is applying the TJ Maxx model to e-commerce.

Darrell Cavens, CEO of Zulily.

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Year founded: 2010

Why it's revolutionary: Similar to discount retailer TJ Maxx, Zulily creates a daily treasure hunt for the mothers who shop its site. While TJ Maxx offers close-out discounts on various brands in its stores, Zulily's website offers flash sales on apparel, home goods, toys, and more.

The deals and constantly-changing selection keep shoppers coming back, and the e-commerce site, which went public in 2013, has nearly 4 million users.

Kroger is writing the playbook for the grocery store industry.

Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio

Year founded: 1883

Why it's revolutionary: Kroger
has reported positive comparable-store sales for 45 straight quarters and is expected to surpass Whole Foods Market within two years to become the nation's top seller of organic and natural food. The chain is renowned for its excellent customer service and extensive selection.

The retailer is also a leader in offering private-label products to keep prices low, and is well-known for its 'Kroger Plus Card' loyalty program, which makes customers eligible for discounts and fuel savings.

Brandy Melville built a business catering to teens on Instagram.

Headquarters: Santa Monica, California

Year founded: 1994

Why it's revolutionary: Fashion retailer Brandy Melville was founded in Italy more than two decades ago, brought its tiny crop tops, high-waisted bottoms, and slouchy sweaters to the US just five years ago.

Thanks to a brilliant Instagram account, which features a mix of professional models and real customers, the retailer is now ranked in the top 10 teen clothing brands, and has a major e-commerce presence.

The brand is also notable for offering 'one size fits all' clothing.

Bigcommerce gives big and small brands everything they need to launch, promote, manage, and scale a successful online store.

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Year founded: 2009

Why it's revolutionary: Bigcommerce is helping retailers adapt their businesses to an online format. Bigcommerce users rave about the company's features, including better SEO than other platforms.

The company supports more than 70,000 retailers from 150 different countries and has processed more than $US5 billion in sales. Bigcommerce counts Cetaphil, Gibson Guitar, and Ubisoft among its clients.

Starbucks is revolutionising mobile payments and delivery.

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Year founded: 1971

Why it's revolutionary: Starbucks is responsible for making coffee shops ubiquitous. Now, the company is leading the charge on mobile payments at its 21,000 locations.

The company's mobile app allowed customers to pay for their coffee beverages by smartphone before Apple Pay. An impressive 16% of transactions are now mobile. The company is also testing delivery in Seattle and New York.

Poshmark created a reliable, social resale market for clothing.

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California

Year founded: 2011

Why it's revolutionary:

Poshmark uses an Instagram-like platform for users to sell used clothing. For a fee, users can easily upload pictures of their items. Unlike eBay, which can be overwhelming with its broad array of products, Poshmark is focused on clothing and accessories.

Users can shop by brand or see what their friends are selling, giving a social aspect to the app.

Under Armour is challenging long-established athletic brands.

Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland

Year founded: 1996

Why it's revolutionary: The company, which put performance-wear on the map, recently surpassed Adidas to become the second-biggest sportswear brand in the US by sales. When it was founded in 1996, it had $US17,000 in revenue. This year, it is expected to bring in $US3.76 billion.

Under Armour has been aggressively investing in high-profile endorsement deals with athletes like Stephen Curry and Muhammad Ali, and building up its women's business.

Pirch is creating a new kind of home-shopping experience.

Headquarters: San Diego, California

Year founded: 2010

Why it's revolutionary: Pirch is a high-end home store whose founders strive to make the experience of shopping 'inspirational and joyful.' The retailer builds stunning, expansive showrooms. Baristas greet customers by offering them a custom latte.

Shoppers can try out all of the products, including an aromatherapy shower and a heated toilet. Pirch is a pioneer in making its stores a destination when shoppers are increasingly going online.

Kohl's is reinventing the department store model and challenging everyone from Macy's to Wal-Mart.

Bella Thorne shops Candie's brand at Kohl's in Los Angeles.

Headquarters: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Year founded: 1962

Why it's revolutionary: Department store chain Kohl's is American women's favourite place to shop for clothes, according to a recent survey. The midmarket department store offers deep discounts on national clothing brands such as Nike, Vera Wang, and Izod. Analysts say the thrill of finding good deals keeps bargain hunters coming back. Kohl's savvy mix of brands and value has hurt competitors like Wal-Mart, which offers low prices every day.

EDITD shows retailers what their customers are buying in real time.

Headquarters: London

Year founded: 2009

Why it's revolutionary: EDITD is a technology company that helps retailers like Target, Gap, and Asos have 'the right products, at the right place, at the right time.' The company tracks what people are buying in real time.

This helps retailers make better merchandising decisions and restock items faster.

Trader Joe's is making brand names in food obsolete.

Headquarters: Monrovia, California

Year founded: 1958

Why it's revolutionary: Trader Joe's sells twice as much per square foot as Whole Foods, yet offers very few brand names. Consumers view Trader Joe's as high-quality but inexpensive (many staple products are half the price of other retailers). The creativity of the in-house products is also important.

Some of the most popular products include Chilli-Lime Chicken Burgers, Cookie Butter (a cookie-flavored nut butter), and corn and chilli salsa.

Lululemon is leading 'athleisure,' the biggest fashion revolution in decades.

Headquarters: Vancouver, British Columbia

Year founded: 1998

Why it's revolutionary: Lululemon was arguably the first company to offer women workout clothes they wanted to wear all the the time. Now, analysts say the 'athleisure' trend will likely become a permanent part of the retail landscape.

The company now counts Nike and Under Armour among its copycats. Lululemon is continuing to innovate -- its 'anti ball-crushing' pants have become hugely popular with men. It's also expanding ivivva, its line for young girls.

Pet Food Express is leading 'conscious capitalism' in the pet food industry.

Pet Food Express' founders with their pets.

Headquarters: Oakland, California

Year founded: 1986

Why it's revolutionary: It's easy to see why Pet Food Express, which has more than 50 stores in California, has a huge cult following. The company will undercut competitors' prices by 10% and welcomes pets into its stores.

It also pours profits into pet rescue and adoption, having donated more than $US1.7 million in 2013 alone. Pet Food Express is known for offering workers excellent pay and benefits, and is routinely ranked as one of the best companies to work for.

Swipely offers an all-in-one marketing and payment platform for small businesses.

Headquarters: Providence, Rhode Island

Year founded: 2009

Why it's revolutionary: Swipely is a platform that helps thousands of small retailers and restaurants attract and retain customers.

The company tracks point-of-sale, sales, and customer data so retailers can see what's working -- services that were previously only available to larger companies. Swipely's companies now post $US4 billion in annual sales.

GameStop's brilliant strategy is helping it avoid Blockbuster's fate.

Headquarters: Grapevine, Texas

Year founded: 1984

Why it's revolutionary: In the age of e-commerce, many people assumed that video game retailer GameStop would go the route of book, music, and video stores.

But GameStop has been able to get customers in stores to purchase digital content. It's cultivated retail locations as places where young men can socialise, meaning that online competitors haven't made a dent in business. The company also has trade-in and loyalty programs that are unrivalled by competitors.

Stitch Fix is changing the way that women shop for clothes.

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Year founded: 2011

Why it's revolutionary: Stitch Fix eliminates the hardest part of shopping: making choices. With its services, women don't have to step foot inside a store or browse shopping websites to find clothes they like.

The company's stylists curate items for customers based on an extensive profile of their style preferences, sizing, and body types, and send them a box of selections every month. Customers can try on the clothes at home and send back whatever they don't want to keep.

Over time, the service gets increasingly accurate in predicting specific customers' style preferences, thanks to an algorithm that learns from customer feedback.

Aldi has figured out how to be cheaper than Wal-Mart, and sales are soaring.

Headquarters: Essen, Germany

Year founded: 1913

Why it's revolutionary: Aldi, which has been called the best grocery chain in the US, offers cheaper prices than Wal-Mart by offering a lean selection of items that's heavy on house brands. Aldi also saves money by requiring customers to bring their own shopping bags and bag their own groceries.

The chain has nearly 1,300 US locations, mostly in the Midwest and East, and plans to open 650 more US stores within the next five years.

Abine is protecting consumers from hackers with 'fake' credit cards.

Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

Year founded: 2008

Why it's revolutionary: The privacy firm Abine has developed a service called Blur that generates 'fake' credit card numbers to protect consumers from hackers. When a user is ready to make a purchase, Blur will randomly generate a masked card -- a one-time-use credit card number, expiration date and security code.

The card is only authorised for a specified amount and after a single use, it will be destroyed. That way, no customer information can be stolen.

Interior Define is making customisable furniture affordable.

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

Year founded: 2014

Why it's revolutionary: Interior Define builds every piece of furniture on demand and will customise everything, including size, shape, colour, fabric, filling, and frame.

With an average price point of about $US1,700, Interior Define is targeting customers who have graduated from IKEA furniture but can't afford designer brands.

CVS' decision to stop selling cigarettes is a brilliant business strategy.

Headquarters: Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Year founded: 1963

Why it's revolutionary: CVS shocked the retail industry last year when it made the decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its stores, saying tobacco has 'no place in an environment where healthcare is being delivered.'

The decision was expected to cost CVS about $US2 billion in annual revenue, but the pharmacy chain made up some lost revenue by charging a new premium to Caremark customers who fill prescriptions at pharmacies that sell tobacco products. The change gives Caremark customers a major incentive to fill their drug orders at CVS.

Restoration Hardware is opening massive 'design galleries' and sales are booming.

Headquarters: Corte Madera, California

Year founded: 1980

Why it's revolutionary: At a time when many retailers are shutting down physical stores or downsizing existing ones, Restoration Hardware is opening even bigger stores and sales are booming.

The company has been opening massive 'design galleries,' which are larger than its typical stores, and have a much wider selection of products. Restoration Hardware's same-store sales soared 20% in 2014.

TJ Maxx is redefining the discount space.

Headquarters: Framingham and Marlborough, Massachusetts

Year founded: 1976

Why it's revolutionary: TJ Maxx has been called the most powerful apparel retailer in the US. The company, which also owns the discount retailers Marshalls and Home Goods, frequently floods its stores with new merchandise, but limits the amount of each product it sells to keep bargain hunters coming back again and again.

The company also aggressively trains its buyers to keep costs low.

Wanelo is changing how people shop online.

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Year founded: 2011

Why it's revolutionary: Wanelo is a popular online shopping community where users find and share images of cool products. Unlike Pinterest, clicking on a product's image on Wanelo will take users right to the website where they can purchase it. In a single year -- from August 2013 to August 2014 -- Wanelo grew from 1 million members to 11 million.

Adore Me is selling lingerie at half the price of Victoria's Secret.

Headquarters: New York, New York

Year founded: 2011

Why it's revolutionary: Adore Me has applied the strategies of fast-fashion retailers like Zara and Forever 21 to the lingerie business.

Adore Me bras and panties run about $US39 total, while a single bra at Victoria's Secret costs between $US50 and $US60. The brand also sells plus sizes, while Victoria's Secret is criticised for its limited selections.

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