Shuffling Among the Top 50
July 26, 2013,
NEW YORK - Aside from the change at the top of HTT's annual Retailing Giants Ranking, there are other shifts in the ranking this year worth noting.
JCPenney's chaotic "transformation" project, launched in February 2012 by then ceo Ron Johnson, hit the home textiles department hard. Fluctuating pricing policies and marketing pitches - along with the elimination for much of the year of the type of couponing and promoting that appealed Penney's core customer - resulted in the single largest year-over-year decrease among the Top 50 retailers in this year's ranking.
Penney's home textiles sales plummeted nearly 40%, sending the one-time U.S. home textiles leader down to 5th place in the ranking. The silver lining: JCPenney still generates over $1.1 billion in hometex sales - one of only five retailers that can claim that distinction.
Stepping into the No. 4 spot was Kohl's, which didn't have the greatest year in home textiles either. But its puny 0.5% sales increase was enough to propel the middle market retailer up the ladder.
Among the Top 10, Kmart joined Penney in moving down the ranks. Its 3.7% slide in home textiles sales pushed it down to 8th place.
Ross Stores, now the 9th largest seller of home textiles in the country, is not quite within striking distance of Kmart - yet. But if it keeps grabbing more share - sales were up more than 8% in 2012 - and if Kmart can't start clawing some of its sales back (its last annual sale gain in home textiles took place in 2000), its rise up the ladder appears inevitable.
Ikea joins the Top 10 this year for the first time. It should be noted that while the Swedish mega retailer had a good year in textiles, up 10.6%, what really pulled Ikea into the top tier was HTT's decision to begin reporting Williams-Sonoma Inc.'s divisions by nameplate rather than as an aggregate. Williams- Sonoma occupied 9th place in last year's survey, which covered retail sales for 2011. If reported in the aggregated again this year, Williams-Sonoma Inc. would have held the same spot. Broken into its constituent parts, Williams-Sonoma's brands made an impressive showing. Two rank within the Top 20: Pottery Barn at No. 15 and Pottery Barn Kids at No. 19. PBTeen debuts as its own entity at No. 39, followed by Williams-Sonoma's West Elm concept at No. 40.
HomeGoods' ascent is also worth nothing. The home furnishings division of TJX, parent of TJMaxx and Marshalls, jumped to 14th place from 16th place with an impressive 15.4% sales gain in home textiles in 2012. It slipped past Pottery Barn by just $10 million. TJX is belatedly moving into ecommerce this year, and it will be interesting to see what kind of a boost an online imprint will give to the already rapidly growing Home Goods franchise. Anna's Linens continues its steady climb up the Top 50 rankings and now stands at No. 13. With Family Dollar, currently No. 11, de-emphasizing discretionary categories in favor of food and other consumables,
Anna's could make its way into the Top 10 in a few short years. However, Anna's is also beefing up on faster-turning hard lines, and as they become a bigger part of the mix it will be worth keeping an eye on the pace of home textiles growth.
The Top 5 home textiles retailers captured 54.8% of the Top 50's sales - down a tick from the 55.3% share they held last year. JCPenney's misfortunes are a significant factor.
The Top 10 home textiles retailers held on to about the same amount of share as in last year's survey, with 69.5% of the Top 50's total sales in 2012 versus 69.8% in 2011.