Home improvement retail chain Home Depot Inc. pushed aside grocer Kroger Co. to become the second-largest U.S. retailer behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to the 2002 tally of sales by Stores magazine.
Historically low mortgage rates have spurred sales of existing homes, boosting Home Depot's sales, the trade publication said. Meanwhile, Kroger faces blistering competition from expanded food offerings at discount chain Wal-Mart, easily the No. 1 retailer with nearly $220 billion in sales, according to the rankings for 2002. Cincinnati-based Kroger's store brands include Dillon Stores. The company's chairman and chief executive is Joseph Pichler, a former business dean at Kansas University.
Home Depot had $53.55 billion in sales, and Kroger had $50.1 billion in sales. The Atlanta-based chain is building a store in Lawrence.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. retained its No. 4 spot and Target Corp. replaced bankrupt discount chain Kmart Corp. at No. 5.