Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Fourth Annual Exclusive List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000
AC Lens Ranks No. 2913 on the 2010 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 73%
NEW YORK, August 24, 2010 -- Inc. magazine today ranked AC Lens NO. 73 on its fourth annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent-minded entrepreneurs. Music website Pandora, convenience store chain 7-Eleven, Brooklyn Brewery, and Radio Flyer, maker of the iconic children’s red wagon, are among the prominent brands featured on this year’s list.
“The leaders of the companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have figured out how to grow their businesses during the longest recession since the Great Depression,” said Inc. president Bob LaPointe. “The 2010 Inc. 5000 showcases a particularly hardy group of entrepreneurs.”
AC Lens is a leading online retailer of contact lenses and other vision related products. Launched in 1995 by Dr. Peter Clarkson, AC Lens credits their growth to award winning customer service, low prices, and rapid delivery to countries around the world.
“Service and price are the main separating factors in our industry,” said Dr. Peter Clarkson. “We’ve put all of our resources into ensuring every customer receives their product quickly at the lowest prices they’ll find online.”
The 2010 Inc. 5000, unveiled today on Inc.com, serves as a unique illustration of the profound changes taking place in the U.S. economy. The Government Services sector showed the biggest gain in terms of the number of companies on the list, up 33 percent from last year to 335 companies. Government Services was also the second-fastest-growing sector in terms of median revenue growth, posting a 202 percent gain over the 2006-2009 measuring period. More than half of these companies are based in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The fastest-growing sector by median revenue growth was Real Estate, now just a tiny group of 38 young, small companies, which showed 231 percent median growth over the period. (There were 121 Real Estate firms on the inaugural Inc. 5000 in 2007.) Business Products & Services is the top industry by number of companies on the list (640) and total revenue ($80.7 billion), while Health is the biggest by total employment (287,726 jobs).
Despite the fact that most of this year’s measuring period of 2006-2009 took place during the latest recession, aggregate revenue among the companies on the list actually increased to $321.6 billion, up more than 50 percent from last year. The effects of the recession are seen, however, in the median three-year growth rate, which dropped to 96 percent from last year’s 126 percent. This year’s Inc. 5000 employ a record 1.4 million people, up from one million on last year’s list. With unemployment remaining stubbornly high, policymakers and business leaders will do well to look to the Inc. 5000 companies for fresh ideas on achieving growth and creating jobs.
Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found on www.inc.com/5000.
The Hottest Regions for Fast-Growing Companies
Once again, California tops the Inc. 5000 with the most companies of any state with 684. The Golden State is followed by Texas (404), New York (353), Virginia (293), and Florida (262). All 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, are represented on this year's list.
New York boasts 410 Inc. 5000 companies, making it the top metro area, followed by Washington, D.C. (363), Los Angeles (262), Chicago (203), and Boston (189).
The Inc. 5000 at a Glance
The Real Estate sector, although small, was the top-performing industry, with a total growth rate of 189 percent. Software was second with a growth rate of 126 percent, and Telecommunications was third with 119 percent.
In total, the companies on the Inc. 5000 have created 1.4 million jobs. The Health sector is the top employer with 287,726 jobs, followed by Business Products & Services (230,066), Food & Beverage (108,344), Human Resources (107,924), and Retail (96,858).
Business Products & Services had the most companies on this year’s list with 640, followed by IT Services (607), Advertising & Marketing (410), Health (396), and Government Services (336).
This year’s fastest-growing company is Ambit Energy, a Dallas-based firm that buys electricity and natural gas at wholesale prices and resells the energy to customers acquired through a direct sales channel. The company saw $325 million in revenue in 2009 and a three-year growth rate of 20,369 percent.
The top woman-run company is Lexicon Consulting (No. 4 overall), based in El Cajon, California. Lexicon creates mock Iraqi and Afghan villages used to train military personnel. The firm, founded by Jamie Arundell-Latshaw in 2005, recorded revenue of $17.9 million in 2009 and a three-year growth rate of 14,018 percent. The top minority-run company is WDFA Marketing (No. 5 overall), a San Francisco–based firm that specializes in guerrilla, grass-roots, and micromarketing. WDFA, founded by Raj Prasad, posted revenue of $38.4 million in 2008 and a three-year growth rate of 13,350 percent.
The Inc. 5000 posted an aggregate revenue of $321.6 billion in 2009, up more than 50 percent from the previous year. The top five industries by total revenue are Business Products & Services ($84.7 billion), Health ($48.3 billion), Consumer Products & Services ($26.4 billion), Retail ($22.3 billion), and Government Services ($15.1 billion).
The 2010 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2006 to 2009. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by June 30, 2006. Additionally, they had to be based in the United States, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2009. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2006 is $80,000; the minimum for 2009 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. The top 10 percent of companies on the list constitute the Inc. 500, now in its 29th year.
About Arlington Contact Lens Service Inc.
Arlington Contact Lens Service Inc, dba AC Lens, is a leading online supplier of contact lenses and vision care accessories. The company carries all major contact lens brands including Acuvue, Air Optix, and Bausch & Lomb. Vision care accessories such as sunglasses, reading glasses, and contact lens solution allows buyers to purchase all of their vision care needs in one location at industry low prices. AC Lens offers users unique features including un-biased customer product reviews, quick re-order option, vision care blog, and the largest contact lens forum online. For more information, visit www.aclens.com, http://blog.aclens.com, or follow us on Twitter @aclens.
About Inc. Magazine
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures LLC, Inc. (www.inc.com) is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. With a total paid circulation of 712,647, Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology. Visit us online at www.inc.com.
About the Inc. 500|5000 Conference
Each year, Inc. and Inc.com celebrate the remarkable achievements of today’s entrepreneurial superstars—the privately held small businesses that drive our economy. The Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony brings together members of the Inc. community, both a new class of Inc. 500|5000 honorees and the list’s alumni, for three days of powerful networking, inspired learning, and momentous celebration. Please join us September 30–October 2, 2010, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, located minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. For more information about the 2010 Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony and to register, visit www.inc500conference.com or call 866-901-3205.