The U.S. retail industry is comprised of both publicly traded and privately owned retail companies. The majority of the largest multi-store retail chains in the U.S. are publicly traded, and their shares are sold through the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. Retail is usually classified by type of products, for example, foot products, hard or durable goods (appliances, electronics, furniture, etc), and soft goods (clothing, apparel, and other fabrics). Every year the MillwardBrown Optimor research agency compiles its annual BRANDZ Top 100 Global Brands list, ranking the retail companies with the most significant global retail operations, in addition to brand recognition. While these companies are clear retail giants, there exist thousands of smaller retail companies, with only one or two storefronts, who have similar needs to the giants, but scaled down.
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