Lightning 50 returns to reveal the fastest growing online retailers in the UK and United States

  • Brightpearl, the world leading retail retail operating system, has curated a list of the fastest growing e-commerce brands for its Lightning 50 table;
  • London-based Pinter wins the UK league table after growing sales by more than six-fold to almost £6 million as beer lovers save money in the cost of living crisis by serving perfect pints they have brewed at home from its specially developed keg;
  • Specialist bicycle wheel manufacturer HUNT Bike Wheels has emerged as the fastest-growing ecommerce brand in the US, with a staggering 13x (1,357%) growth in revenue over the past twelve months

The fastest growing online retailers have been revealed with the return of Brightpearl’s Lightning 50 league table, published last week.

Beer brewing brand Pinter topped the UK table for 2022. Pinter, based in Walthamstow, London, has grown sales by more than sixfold (626%) to almost £6 million as beer lovers save money in the cost of living crisis by serving perfect pints they have brewed at home from its specially developed keg.

In the states, Colorado-based HUNT Bike Wheels topped the league table after growing its sales by more than 1,300% as the brand’s patented wheel technology inspired a surge of cycling enthusiasts to flock to its online store. 

Researchers tracked growth rates for hundreds of companies to find the fastest growing ecommerce brands of the last year.

Almost half of the top ten fastest growing brands in the US for 2022 are female led.

This includes apparel retailer, J. Brooks Boutique, who ranked 2nd on the list. The company was founded in 2017 by Jessica Brooks after being gifted a sewing machine a year prior and teaching herself how to sew via YouTube tutorials. With astounding success and 170% growth year-over-year, the company also took the crown as the fastest growing fashion brand in the United States.  Rounding out the top three was another female-lead independent retailer, Caden Lane, who came fourth with 141% growth, heading up the baby & toddler section.

HUNT Bike Wheels and J. Brooks Boutique attributed their significant growth to successfully leveraging strong e-commerce platforms, inventory planning tools and backend technology to strengthen their retail operations, the service they provide as well as their relationships with customers.

“We are delighted to be named as the fastest growing online company in the US – it really is a fantastic achievement to top Brightpearl’s Lighting 50 list,” said Samuel Johnson, US Market Manager at HUNT Bike Wheels. 

Back in the UK, Pinter came out top as the home brewing craze which started during lockdown continued as pub lovers look to save cash by drinking at home while inflation spirals.

Since launching in 2020, Pinter has amassed a community of 60,000 brewers and it has sold the equivalent of 3,900,000 million pints. It was named a TIME Magazine invention of the year.

Pinter managing director Adam Keary said: “We are delighted to be named as the UK’s fastest growing online company by Brightpearl. It is a fantastic achievement to not only be recognised in the top 50, but also top this list.

To compile the Lightning 50, Bristol-based Brightpearl asked brands to submit annual growth figures from 2020 to 2021, with each brand ranked solely on its net growth percentage during that time frame. 

The full Lightning 50 list can be found here

Fashion and apparel brands make up 20% of the UK league table and a quarter of the US list – showing how customers increasingly shop for clothes online – and health and beauty brands were well represented.

UK firms on the list achieved sales of £206 million.  US firms on the list achieved sales of $341M last year.

Brightpearl CEO Derek O’Carroll said: “When we consider the unpredictability and uncertainty of the last couple of years, from the pandemic, to the global supply chain crisis, through to the skyrocketing costs brought on by the Ukraine war, high rates of inflation and increased cost-of-living, it’s easy to paint a bleak picture for business. 

“There can be no doubt that there are many obstacles for retailers to overcome. However, many have risen to this, and now the results are in, we can see that some firms aren’t just showing resilience – they are absolutely thriving, despite the difficult circumstances.

“When we look behind the data, there’s a combination of factors for that success, primarily driven by people and the innovative, data-driven technologies they are using that allow them to react quickly to the challenges they face. 

“It’s fantastic to once again be able to celebrate and recognise the hard work that has gone into this growth, and I’d like to congratulate everyone who made it into the Lightning 50 list.”