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Mid-line stores win bigger share

Mid-priced and specialty chains continued to boost their market share in bedding last year, as department stores saw a continuing erosion of their base, according to HTT's The Facts report.

Discount stores, dominating with more than a third of the segment's sales, stayed firmly in command even as their share remained flat.

According to the HTT study, the big winners for 2002 were linens specialty stores and mid-price chains.

Although each of those trade classes garnered a 1 percent rise over 2001, from 14 percent to 15 for the specialists and from 20 to 21 percent for mid-price chains, those gains are significant in a multi-billion-dollar industry. Arguably, it appears the bedding category is becoming more important to the merchandise mix at many stores.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the growth of the mid-price retail channels is the rapidly accelerating number of stores in operation.

On the discount side, however, the sheer number of retail doors was not enough to give the category a blip, either positively or negatively. Moreover, the closings of hundreds of stores by bankrupt chains, like Kmart, or liquidated companies, like Ames, strongly suggests that the discount sector has seen dramatically improved per-store productivity gains, which prevented a decline in market share.

The bedding market share for department stores dropped two percentage points from the prior year, in keeping with that segment's continuing struggle to reinvent itself.

Distribution Channels Share 2002 % Sales 2002 $
* Other includes home improvement centers, furniture stores, military exchanges and gift/home accent stores.
1. Discount department stores 36% $2,376
36 2,340
2. Mid-price chains 21 1,386
20 1,300
3. Home textiles specialty chains 15 990
114 910
4. Department stores 12 792
14 910
5. Off-price chains 5 330
5 325
6. Other* 4 264
4 260
7. Direct-to-consumer 3 198
3 195
8. Variety/closeout 2 132
2 130
9. Warehouse clubs 1 66
1 65
10. Single-unit specialty stores 1 66
1 65


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