CNBC has unveiled the Retail section of its inaugural Disruptor 50 list, showcasing five of the most retail-disruptive companies in North America today. Among the five: Ottawa's Shopify, also known as Canada's smartest company.
Shopify was placed alongside Pinterest, Etsy, Rent the Runway, and Warby Parker. The Canadian company expects to have 80,000 online storefronts this year generating a combined $1.5 billion in revenue. That's double the 42,000 shops and $724 million revenue Shopify saw last year.
The companies on the list were selected based on four guiding principles: the potential to replace incumbents, the likelihood for hypergrowth, the ability to scale quickly, and the introduction of new business models. These principles, which were agreed on by business school professors, were shared with venture capitalists and angels, industry analysts, and CNBC reporters to determine the list.
"The term 'disruption' is so often used and so hard to define. We're looking to expand the concept beyond the technology sector to identify disruptors who are changing the economy and overall business landscape," CNBC says. "These companies have entered the traditional sectors and turned them upside down. It's not about one product or delivery method. It's the power of a company to displace the established incumbents in its own industry and create a ripple effect throughout its economic ecosystem."
The rest of the list will be revealed throughout the week.