WWD's list of the top 25 most profitable companies in the United States includes some no-brainers, such as Nike and Ralph Lauren, however they were beaten out by others you wouldn't necessarily expect to see on a list of apparel brands. Topping Nike, which came in fourth with gross profits of $12 billion, are big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target, which raked in $485 billion and $21 billion, respectively.

All of this should be taken with a grain of salt, as the list includes sales of beauty products, which enabled Proctor & Gamble to leap into the two spot, and obviously gave Wal-Mart and Target a huge edge over companies like Nike. Other notable apparel companies on the list include Macy's, The Gap, Nordstrom, Hanes, Coach, Michael Kors, and Under Armour. One not-so-fun fact is that if you took all 24 companies behind Wal-Mart and combined their profits, they still wouldn't equal what the mega-retailer brings in.

Nike seems to always fall short of coming out in front of lists like these, no matter what the metric. Forbes ranked Louis Vuitton as the most valuable fashion brand, determined by the publication's own formula, and 11 spots ahead of Nike in its rankings last year. 

You can check out the whole list of the top 25 most profitable U.S. fashion, retail, beauty, luxury, and apparel companies below. 

Image via WWD