13 of 100
13. lululemon athletica
3-year average
Revenue Growth: 34%
Profit Growth: 47%
Total Return: 57%
Selling yoga pants at $98 a pop, workout gear retailer Lululemon might not seem like a good bet in tough times. But its high-quality products have hooked the fashion-conscious and the fit-a crowd that still has discretionary income. Since 2004 the brand has increased revenue at a compound annual rate of 61%. It now operates some 140 stores with for as many as 27 more in 2011. Last year, the stores averaged $1,726 in sales per square foot, among the best in the industry.

It's unclear if the company can sustain its breakneck growth pace, in part because its success is drawing competitors such as the Gap's Athleta stores. But so far Lululemon shows few signs of slowing. In the works: plans to expand its men's business, broaden its offerings possibly to include bags and coats, boost international sales, and, of course, keep pursuing the Lululemon target: the woman who "pursues exercise to achieve physical fitness and inner peace."
Get stock quote: LULU
Revenue ($ millions): $760.2
Net Income ($ millions): $135.6
Industry: Retail
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From the September 26, 2011 issue.
Revenue and profit figures reflect the four quarters ended on or before April 30,2011.
Total return is through June 30, 2011.

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