NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Retail had a comeback year in 2010.
So far, retail sales have gained 4.4% for the year, says Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. With Christmas on pace to be the biggest in three years, Johnson predicts sales could end the year up 4.6%, only a percentage point away from the historical average. Retail stocks have steadily improved throughout 2010, with many taking off after releasing impressive third-quarter earnings reports. While the retail recovery hit a speed bump mid-year when it was believed the economy was headed for a double dip, the sector still saw substantial gains, with the S&P Retail Index increasing 24% to 509.17 for the year-to-date period. TheStreet used I-Metrix to calculate which retail stocks saw the biggest percentage gains in 2010. The top 10 stocks stretch across the industry, from dollar store chains to luxury department stores. The question is, will this year's winners be able to carry the momentum into 2011? Here's a look at the top retail stock gainers of 2010.