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Discounters feel economic pinch

Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, July 16, 2001

Though the top five discount department stores in home textiles fell into the same order as last year, the effects of the slowing economy were seen, as only one of the five retailers achieved double-digit sales growth in home textiles in 2000.

Placing third on this list, Target led the group in home textiles sales growth with a strong 12.4 percent increase for the year 2000, slipping only slightly from 1999's 15.1 percent growth.

The other four hovered around 5 percent growth, a sharp contrast to 1999's figures, when Ames soared up 34.6 percent and T.J. Maxx/Marshalls logged 10.7 percent in the home textiles area. In addition, two of the retailers had fewer stores in 2000 than they did in 1999.

Newly minted number-one on the Top 50 home textiles retailers, Bentonville, AR-based Wal-Mart remained the top discounter as well, with almost $2.4 billion in home textiles sales, up 5 percent from the prior year. It also added 102 stores to its store base for a total of 2,624 locations.

In the midst of change under new management, Kmart grew 3.6 percent to hit $1.8 billion in home textiles sales, and again remained number-two on the list. The Troy, MI-based retailer also decreased its number of stores by 3 percent, for a 2,105-store total.

Minneapolis-based Target placed third yet again, jumping from $1.6 billion in 1999 to $1.8 billion in 2000, an increase of 12.4 percent. Its total store base grew 7 percent for a total of 977 locations.

Following the wide gap between it and the top three, T.J. Maxx/Marshalls, Framingham, MA, placed fourth again on the list, with a 5.6 percent increase in home textiles sales for $454 million in 2000. Its store base totaled 1,196, a 5 percent increase.

Ames Department Stores, Rocky Hill, CT, hit its familiar spot as number-five, with $318.0 million in sales, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. It also closed eight stores for a store total of 447 locations.

Top 5 home textiles discounters

Top 50 Rank Company Home Textiles Sales ($Millions) 2000 1999 Percent Change Number of Stores 2000 1999
1. Includes sales from supercenters.
1 Wal-Mart1 $2,389.0 $2,275.0 5.0% 2,624 2,522
3 Kmart1 $1,837.0 $1,774.0 3.6% 2,105 2,171
4 Target Stores1 $1,759.0 $1,565.0 12.4% 977 912
8 T.J. Maxx/Marshalls $454.0 $430.0 5.6% 1,196 1,137
11 Ames Dept. Stores $318.0 $300.1 6.0% 447 455


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