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China DominatesMarket Basket

New York — The source code has changed.

In 2008, China — for the first time ever — is the supplier nation of more than half of all the items in the HTT Market Basket.

Five years ago, about half of all products in the survey were “Made in USA.” That 2003 Market Basket showed China producing less than 30% of all items.

Last year, China had expanded that share to 49%, showing its dominance, which has only continued to grow.

Fully three-quarters of all the 2008 survey items originated in Asia. Along with China, the nations of India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam combined to supply 76% of this year's Market Basket.

The only non-Asian country to show an increase in the survey was Brazil, which drove its wedge from 4% to 7%, clearly due to the new ownership of Springs by Brazil-based Coteminas.

The price picture was mixed. Inflation has something to do with the results of our Market Basket “snapshot” of nine stores in two major American markets. The falling value of the dollar means it takes more of them to purchase the same goods — even in a bruising retail environment characterized by steady, heavy promotional activity.

Inflation is one reason this year's batch of top price point market baskets showed five of the nine with totals of more than $1,000 each. Still, five of the nine stores had a lower basket than last year — and that's following the 2007 results, when six of the nine had lower top-price baskets than in the previous year.

On the opening price point side, there were no baskets over $1,000 — Macy's had posted one in 2007 — and four of the nine chains showed a lower basket total, just as in 2007.

Brighter at the bottom

Off-pricer Marshalls, which took part in the strong, profitable year posted by parent TJX Companies, was definitely responding to consumers burdened with real cash flow and credit concerns. The Marshalls market baskets were lower in both the opening price and top price brackets, falling 15.7% and 7.8% respectively.

Marshalls boasted the lowest price tag of any chain for “highest priced item in top-tier basket,” namely a queen-sized bed-in-a-bag for a mere $59.99. (It is worth pointing out here that all prices tabulated in the HTT Market Basket are everyday prices — sale and clearance items are not used in the survey.)

Further, the spread between bottom and top at Marshalls is exceedingly thin: $58 separates the lowest and highest priced items at this bargain-hunter's bazaar, compared to about $88 at both Wal-Mart and Target — and $353.01 at JCPenney, the retailer with the broadest price spread.

Linens leaps for leeway

Meanwhile, the merchandiser that arguably faces the most critical challenges at the moment, Linens 'n Things seemed to be in a stronger pricing position than a year ago, when it was engulfed in massive clearance of stale inventories.

The 2008 LNT price tag on the most expensive item rose by $100, mirroring the $100 broadening of its overall price spread — and pushing LNT to the top of price-raisers, with a total top-price basket increase of 19.8%.

As one of only three chains that amplified its top price basket for 2008, LNT also was among the six chains where the opening price segment showed an upswing.

Most interesting, all this jockeying put our latest Market Basket sampling of Linens 'n Things tightly in parallel with its specialty archrival, Bed Bath & Beyond.

The total opening price baskets of LNT and BBB this year are within 1.5% of each other, while the two chain's top price baskets are 16.6% apart. The highest priced item in each store was exactly the same price: $249.99 for a queen bed-in-a-bag. And the lowest priced wash cloth tag was identical, too: $2.99.

Most remarkable is what this means regarding the superstores' price differential: Bed Bath & Beyond and Linens 'n Things each have a $247 spread between their lowest and highest priced items. Last year they were $102 apart in this measure.

Seesaw selling styles

The HTT Market Basket results represent what a customer who shopped these stores in these markets — during the period between March 7 and March 18 — would have found if she were looking for either the least expensive goods or the presumed top-of-the-line products. While not an exhaustive examination of retailer pricing strategies, the HTT Market Basket nevertheless leads to some interesting questions.

For example, what do Macy's, Kmart and Marshalls have in common? They offer consumers distinct choices in shopping environment, pricing policy and merchandise selection — but all three showed year-to-year price declines in both the upper and lower segments.

Their totals fell in both the opening and top price baskets:

Macy's, down 38.4% in opening, down 11.0% in top; Kmart, down 22.9% in opening, down 8.5% in top; Marshalls, down 15.7% in opening, down 7.8% in top.

But before concluding that economic pressures are forcing merchants to cut, cut, cut — check out the next data set.

The following retailers' market baskets rose in both the opening and top price segments: JCPenney, up 17.7% in opening, up 4.2% in top; Linens 'n Things, up 7.1% in opening, up 19.8% in top; Wal-Mart, up 1.0% in opening, up 16.1% in top.

The downward moves are, on the whole, more dramatic in scope than the upward turns. Still, three business models as diverse as Wal-Mart, LNT and JCPenney found ways to attempt to generate more margin dollars in 2008. The success of those attempts will depend on a range of factors, of course — number of consumer visits per store per month, promotional schedule and markdown aggressiveness, sell-through and in-stock efficiency, as well as the whims of fashion and brand loyalty.

Also worth noting, a year ago only Target and Wal-Mart showed declines in both basket segments, and the lone chain that showed an increase in both segments was: Marshalls.

Shifting Low
Year-to-year change, opening-price basket

In 2007 Marshalls' price was up 48.3% — and Kohl's was down 27%.
Macy's - 38.4%
Kmart - 22.9
Marshalls - 15.7
Target + 0.3
Wal-Mart + 1.0
Linens 'n Things + 7.1
JCPenney + 17.7
Bed Bath & Beyond + 18.4
Kohl's + 34.7


Shifting High
Year-to-year change, top-price basket

Wal-Mart and LNT made the most pronounced reversals;
Linens 'n Things + 19.8%
Wal-Mart + 16.1
JCPenney + 4.2
Kohl's - 1.3
Target - 7.0
Marshalls - 7.8
Bed Bath & Beyond - 8.6
Kmart - 8.5
Macy's - 11.0


Bed Bath & Beyond
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set $29.99 Divatex Cotton Pakistan
Queen bed-in-a-bag 99.99 Ellison First Asia Cotton/Poly China
Pair of standard shams* 29.98 Levinsohn Textile Poly/Cotton China
Dust ruffle 29.99 Levinsohn Textile Poly/Cotton China
Queen quilt 79.99 Pem America Cotton/Poly China
Queen blanket 29.99 Berkshire Blanket Polyester China
Throw 29.99 Berkshire Blanket Polyester China
` $329.93 +22.0% from $269.92 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet 9.99 Revere Mills Cotton Pakistan
Bath towel 4.99 Revere Mills Cotton Pakistan
Hand towel 3.99 Revere Mills Cotton Pakistan
Wash cloth 2.99 Revere Mills Cotton Pakistan
Shower curtain 12.99 StyleLab Vinyl China
Bath rug 9.99 Trade Am Cotton/Viscose India
Soap dish 3.99 Umbra Plastic China
Lotion pump 6.99 N/A Plastic N/A
Tissue box 12.99 N/A Plastic N/A
Total Retail $68.91 +3.0% from $66.91 in 2007
Total Market Basket $398.84 +18.4% from $336.83 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set $199.99 Springs Global Pima Cotton China
Queen bed-in-a-bag 249.99 Homestead Cotton/Poly Pakistan
Pair of standard shams** 39.98 Keeco Cotton China
Dust ruffle 79.99 Revman Poly China
Queen quilt 139.99 American Pacific Cotton China
Queen blanket 99.99 American Pacific Wool China
Throw 39.99 Brentwood Originals Polyester China
Total Retail $849.93 -11.9% from $964.94 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet 79.99 Terrisol Cotton India
Bath towel 39.99 Terrisol Cotton India
Hand towel 19.99 Terrisol Cotton India
Wash cloth 12.99 Terrisol Cotton India
Shower curtain 69.99 Revman Poly/Mixed/Cotton China
Bath rug 69.99 Caesarea Creations Cotton/Poly Israel
Soap dish 19.99 Waterstone Inc. Onyx Mexico
Lotion pump 29.99 Waterstone Inc. Onyx Mexico
Tissue box 34.99 Waterstone Inc. Onyx Mexico
Total Retail $377.91 0% from $377.91 in 2007
Total Market Basket $1,227.84 -8.6% from $1,342.85 in 2007
*Two individually packaged shams at $14.99 each. **Two individually packaged shams at $19.99 each.


Kmart
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
*Only one price point available in this category.
Queen sheet set $17.99 Essential Home Cotton/Poly Brazil
Queen bed-in-a-bag 57.99 Dan River Poly/Cotton Pakistan
Pair of standard shams 28.99 WestPoint Home Cotton Pakistan
Dust ruffle* 22.95 WestPoint Home Cotton/Poly Pakistan
Queen quilt 29.99 Essential Home Cotton/Poly China
Queen blanket 11.49 Charles D. Owen Mfg. Polyester USA
Throw** 14.99 Arlee Home Fashions Polyester China
Total Retail $184.39 -19.8% from $228.92 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet no item
Bath towel 2.99 Springs Global Cotton Brazil
Hand towel 2.49 Springs Global Cotton Brazil
Wash cloth 1.99 Springs Global Cotton Brazil
Shower curtain 9.99 Essential Home Vinyl China
Bath rug 7.99 Essential Home Nylon USA
Soap dish 5.97 Allure Home Creations Ceramic China
Lotion pump 5.97 Allure Home Creations Ceramic China
Tissue box* 17.99 Kmart Metal China
Total Retail $55.83 -32.5% from $82.81 in 2007
Total Market Basket $240.22 -22.9% from $311.73 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set 68.99 Kmart Cotton Pakistan
Queen bed-in-a-bag 103.99 Springs Global Poly/Cotton China
Pair of standard shams 34.99 Kmart Cotton Pakistan
Dust ruffle* 22.95 WestPoint Home Cotton/Poly Pakistan
Queen quilt 57.99 Kmart Poly/Cotton China
Queen blanket 51.00 Berkshire Blanket Polyester China
Throw* 14.99 Arlee Home Fashions Polyester China
Total Retail $355.93 -7.8 % from $385.92 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet no item
Bath towel 14.99 Springs Global Cotton Turkey
Hand towel 9.49 Springs Global Cotton Turkey
Wash cloth 6.99 Springs Global Cotton Turkey
Shower curtain 28.99 Springs Global Cotton USA
Bath rug 22.99 Kmart Cotton India
Soap dish 9.49 Kmart Ceramic China
Lotion pump 11.49 Kmart Ceramic China
Tissue box* 17.99 Kmart Unknown China
Total Retail $122.42 -10.6 % from $136.91 in 2007
Total Market Basket $478.35 -8.5% from $522.83 in 2007


JCPenney
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set 70.00 JCPenney Cotton Pakistan
Queen bed-in-a-bag 159.99 Dan River Poly/Cotton China
Pair of standard shams 35.00 JCPenney Cotton Pakistan
Dust ruffle 45.00 JCPenney Polyester China
Queen quilt 130.00 JCPenney Cotton China
Queen blanket 34.99 Charles D. Owen Mfg. Acrylic USA
Throw 39.99 JCPenney Acrylic China
Total Retail $514.97 +21.1% from $424.95 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet 19.99 Springs Global Cotton Brazil
Bath towel 9.99 Springs Global Cotton Brazil
Hand towel 7.99 Springs Global Cotton Brazil
Wash cloth 6.99 Springs Global Cotton Brazil
Shower curtain 24.99 JCPenney Vinyl China
Bath rug 29.00 Springs Industries Cotton China
Soap dish 8.99 JCPenney Composite Taiwan
Lotion pump 11.99 JCPenney Composite Taiwan
Tissue box 30.00 JCPenney Composite China
Total Retail $149.93 +7.6% from $ 139.91 in 2007
Total Market Basket $664.90 + 17.7% from $564.86 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set 160.00 JCPenney Cotton China
Queen bed-in-a-bag 360.00 Victoria Classics Ltd. Poly/Cotton China
Pair of standard shams 50.00 Peking Handicraft Cotton China
Dust ruffle 50.00 JCPenney Polyester China
Queen quilt 160.00 JCPenney Cotton China
Queen blanket 79.00 JCPenney Cotton China
Throw 65.00 JCPenney Cotton China
Total Retail $924.00 +2.7% from $ 899.99 in 2007
bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet 25.00 JCPenney Cotton China
Bath towel 28.99 Croscill Cotton China
Hand towel 14.99 Croscill Cotton China
Wash cloth 12.99 Croscill Cotton China
Shower curtain 71.99 Croscill Polyester China
Bath rug 49.99 Croscill Acrylic China
Soap dish 21.99 JCPenney Composite China
Lotion pump 24.99 JCPenney Composite China
Tissue box 49.99 India Inc. Composite China
Total Retail $300.92 +9.4% from $274.96 in 2007
Total Market Basket $1,224.92 +4.2% from $1,174.95 in 2007


Kohl's
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
*Only one price point available in this category.
Queen sheet set $49.99 Springs Cotton/Poly Brazil
Queen bed-in-a-bag 214.99 Revman Cotton/Poly China
Pair of standard shams 19.99 Kohl's Cotton/Poly China
Dust ruffle* 34.99 Kohl's Cotton/Poly China
Queen quilt 129.99 PEM America Cotton China
Queen blanket 119.99 CHF Industries Cotton China
Throw 39.99 Kohl's Polyester China
Total Retail $609.93 +43.5% from $424.94 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet 11.99 Kohl's Cotton India
Bath towel 7.99 Kohl's Cotton India
Hand towel 5.99 Kohl's Cotton India
Wash cloth 3.99 Kohl's Cotton India
Shower curtain 19.99 Ex-Cell home Vinyl China
Bath rug 12.99 Kohl's Nylon USA
Soap dish 4.99 Linde Products Mfg. Ceramic China
Lotion pump 7.99 Linde Products Mfg. Ceramic China
Tissue box 14.99 Kohl's Plastic China
Total Retail $90.91 -4.6% from $95.26 in 2007
Total Market Basket $700.84 +34.7 % from $520.20 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set 209.99 Kohl's Cotton China
Queen bed-in-a-bag 279.99 JLA Home Cotton/Poly China
Pair of standard shams 69.99 Kohl's Pima cotton India
Dust ruffle* 34.99 Kohl's Cotton/Poly China
Queen quilt 159.99 Kohl's Cotton China
Queen blanket 149.99 Kohl's Cotton India
Throw 69.99 Kohl's Polyester China
Total Retail $974.93 -2.5% from $999.94 in 2007
bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet 35.99 Kohl's Cotton India
Bath towel 24.99 Chapel Hill Home Cotton/Embellished China
Hand towel 18.99 Chapel Hill Home Cotton/Embellished China
Wash cloth 10.99 Kohl's Cotton India
Shower curtain 59.99 Croscill Poly/Nylon China
Bath rug 44.99 Kohl's Cotton/Viscose India
Soap dish 21.99 Town & Country Ceramic China
Lotion pump 24.99 Bacova Guild Ltd. Resin China
Tissue box 49.99 Saturday Knight Ltd. Ceramic China
Total Retail $292.91 +3.2% from $283.95 in 2007
Total Market Basket $1,267.84 -1.3% from $1,283.89 in 2007


Linens 'n Things
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set $49.99 Linens 'n Things Cotton China
Queen bed-in-a-bag 69.99 Springs Global Polyester China
Pair of standard shams* 39.98 Springs Global Cotton China
Dust ruffle 29.99 Springs Global US Cotton/Poly China
Queen quilt 79.99 Sunham Bedding Cotton China
Queen blanket 19.99 WestPoint Home Nylon USA
Throw 12.99 Sun-Yin USA Poly China
Total Retail $302.92 +7.1 % from $282.94 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet $17.99 Linens 'n Things Cotton Brazil
Bath towel 4.99 Oxford by Cambridge Cotton Canada
Hand towel 3.99 Oxford by Cambridge Cotton Canada
Wash cloth 2.99 Oxford by Cambridge Cotton Canada
Shower curtain 14.99 Ex-Cell Home Fashions Polyester Taiwan
Bath rug 14.99 Maples Industries Comforel Nylon USA
Soap dish 6.99 Springs Global NA China
Lotion pump 9.99 Springs Global NA China
Tissue box 12.99 Springs Global NA China
Total Retail $89.91 +26.8% from $70.91 in 2007
Total Market Basket $392.83 +11.0% from $353.85 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set $149.99 Springs Global Cotton China
Queen bed-in-a-bag 249.99 Next Creations Poly/Cotton China
Pair of standard shams* 99.98 American Pacific Ent. Cotton India
Dust ruffle 39.99 Springs Global Cotton/Poly China
Queen quilt 139.99 American Pacific Ent. Cotton China
Queen blanket 79.99 Linens 'n Things Cotton Portugal
Throw 24.99 Mohawk Home Rayon/Cotton China
Total Retail $784.92 +18.9% from $659.93 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet $27.99 WestPoint Home Cotton USA
Bath towel 17.99 Avanti Cotton Canada
Hand towel 13.99 Avanti Cotton Canada
Wash cloth 8.99 Avanti Cotton Canada
Shower curtain 49.99 Croscill Polyester China
Bath rug 34.99 Croscill Cotton/Poly China
Soap dish 19.99 Croscill NA China
Lotion pump 24.99 Croscill NA China
Tissue box 39.99 Croscill NA China
Total Retail $238.91 +22.6% from $194.91 in 2007
Total Market Basket $1,023.83 +19.8% from $854.84 in 2007
*Two individually packaged shams at $49.99 each; $19.99 each.


Macy's
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set $40.00 Sander Sales Enterprises Poly/Cotton Pakistan
Queen bed-in-a-bag 100.00 Sunham Poly/Cotton China
Pair of standard shams* 80.00 Macy's Pima Cotton Pakistan
Dust ruffle 55.00 Macy's Pima Cotton Pakistan
Queen quilt 135.00 Macy's Cotton Unknown
Queen blanket 110.00 Charles D. Owen Mfg. Polyester China
Throw 40.00 Macy's Polyester China
Total Retail $560.00 -44.77% from $1,014.00 in 2007
bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet $22.00 Macy's Cotton India
Bath towel 10.00 WestPoint Home/Martex Cotton Pakistan
Hand towel 6.00 WestPoint Home/Martex Cotton Pakistan
Wash cloth 4.00 WestPoint Home/Martex Cotton Pakistan
Shower curtain 19.99 Macy's Vinyl Taiwan
Bath rug 24.00 Macy's Nylon India
Soap dish 12.99 Macy's Ceramic China
Lotion pump 14.99 Macy's Ceramic China
Tissue box 24.99 Macy's Ceramic China
Total Retail $138.96 +15.8% from $119.96 in 2007
Total Market Basket $698.96 -38.4% from $1,133.96 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set $260.00 Macy's Egyptian Cotton India
Queen bed-in-a-bag 300.00 Macy's Cotton Pakistan
Pair of standard shams 265.00 Yves Delorme Egyptian Cotton France
Dust ruffle 335.00 Yves Delorme Egyptian Cotton France
Queen quilt 270.00 Macy's Viscose/Polyester India
Queen blanket 135.00 Macy's Cotton/Micro-Cotton China
Throw 120.00 Macy's Rayon/Cotton China
Total Retail $1,685.00 -16.7% from $2,024.00 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet $112.50 Abyss Egyptian Cotton Portugal
Bath towel 62.50 Abyss Egyptian Cotton Portugal
Hand towel 31.50 Abyss Egyptian Cotton Portugal
Wash cloth 16.50 Abyss Egyptian Cotton Portugal
Shower curtain 69.99 Macy's Cotton China
Bath rug 70.00 Macy's Cotton/Modal/Silk Portugal
Soap dish 19.99 Macy's Marble China
Lotion pump 27.99 Macy's Marble China
Tissue box 39.99 Macy's Marble China
Total Retail $450.96 +19.4% from $377.47 in 2007
Total Market Basket $2,135.96 -11.0% from $2,401.47 in 2007
*Two individually packaged shams at $40 each.


Marshalls
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
*Only one product available in this category. **Two individually packaged shams at $7.99 each; $12.99 each.
Queen sheet set $29.99 Niki International Inc. Cotton China
Queen bed-in-a-bag* 59.99 Victoria Classics Ltd. Poly/Cotton China
Pair of standard shams** 15.98 Colchas Domingas Cotton/Poly Portugal
Dust ruffle N/A N/A N/A N/A
Queen quilt 29.99 Summa International Inc. Cotton China
Queen blanket* 14.99 Sun-Yin USA/SunTex Cotton China
Throw 12.99 Berkshire Blanket Polyester China
Total Retail $163.93 -23.72% from $214.93 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet $9.99 WestPoint Home/Utica Cotton USA
Bath towel 4.99 Santens Bamboo/Cotton India
Hand towel 3.99 Hilasal Ring-spun Cotton Mexico
Wash cloth 1.99 Springs Global US Cotton Brazil
Shower curtain 12.99 Trade Lines Cotton/Poly China
Bath rug 6.99 Chesapeake Merch. Cotton India
Soap dish 3.99 InterDesign Ceramic/chrome China
Lotion pump 5.99 N/A Resin China
Tissue box 4.99 N/A Plastic/Glass/Metal N/A
Total Retail $55.91 +21.8% from $45.92 in 2007
Total Market basket $219.84 -15.7% from $260.85 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set $49.99 Hillcrest/Indigo Home Supima Cotton China
Queen bed-in-a-bag* 59.99 Victoria Classics Ltd. Poly/Cotton China
Pair of standard shams** 25.98 Pem America Cotton China
Dust ruffle N/A
Queen quilt 39.99 HG Buying Cotton China
Queen blanket* 14.99 Sun-Yin USA/SunTex Cotton China
Throws 19.99 Fashion Industries Cotton China
Total Retail $210.93 -14.2% from $245.93 in 2007
bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet $12.99 HG Buying Cotton Turkey
Bath towel 9.99 WestPoint Home Cotton Thailand
Hand towel 5.99 Karsten Cotton Brazil
Wash cloth 3.99 Arabella Textiles Cotton Turkey
Shower curtain 19.99 Croscill Home Poly/Cotton China
Bath rug 9.99 Tradewinds Imports Cotton chenille India
Soap dish 7.99 Lenox Porcelain China
Lotion pump 9.99 Joseph Abboud Porcelain China
Tissue box 16.99 Lenox Porcelain China
Total Retail $97.91 +10.1% from $88.92 in 2007
Total Market Basket $308.84 -7.8% from $334.85 in 2007


Target
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set 19.99 Target Cotton Pakistan
Queen bed-in-a-bag** 44.99 Target Cotton/Poly Brazil/Mex.
Pair of standard shams* 19.98 Target Cotton/Poly Bahrain
Dust ruffle 13.99 Target Cotton/Poly Bahrain
Queen quilt 39.99 Target Cotton/Poly China
Queen blanket 19.99 Target Cotton USA
Total Retail $158.93 -4.2% from $165.93 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet NA
Bath towel 1.58 Target Cotton Vietnam
Hand towel 1.58 Target Cotton Vietnam
Wash cloth 2.99 Target Cotton Thailand
Shower curtain 19.99 Target Cotton Pakistan
Bath rug 7.99 Target Nylon USA
Soap dish 5.99 iDesign Metal/Resin China
Lotion pump 7.99 iDesign Metal/Resin China
Tissue box 9.99 iDesign Metal/Resin China
Total Retail $58.10 +14.8% from $50.63 in 2007
Total Market Basket $217.03 +0.3% from $216.56 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set 69.99 Target Supima Cotton India
Queen bed-in-a-bag** 44.99 Target Cotton/Poly Brazil/Mex.
Pair of standard shams* 63.98 Target Supima Cotton Pakistan
Dust ruffle 49.99 Target Supima Cotton China
Queen quilt 89.99 Target/Sunham Cotton China
Queen blanket 49.99 Target Polyester China
Throw N/A
Total Retail $368.93 -11.9% from $418.92 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet N/A
Bath towel 12.29 Target Cotton China
Hand towel 9.99 Target Supima Cotton India
Wash cloth 8.99 Target Supima Cotton India
Shower curtain 39.49 Target Egyptian Cotton Turkey
Bath rug 17.99 Target Cotton/Viscose India
Soap dish 16.19 Target Metal China
Lotion pump 19.19 Target Metal China
Tissue box 30.29 Target Mother of Pearl/Metal China
Total Retail $154.42 +7.3% from $143.91 in 2007
Total Market Basket $523.35 -7.0% from $562.83 in 2007
*Two individually packaged shams at $9.99 each; $31.99 each. **Only one price point available in this category.


Wal-Mart
Opening Price Point

Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
*Only one price point available in this category.
Queen sheet set $19.76 Wal-Mart Cotton/Poly Pakistan
Queen bed-in-a-bag 34.89 E&E Co. Ltd. Polyester China
Pair of standard shams 9.96 Wal-Mart Cotton Brazil
Dust ruffle* 13.96 Wal-Mart Cotton Brazil
Queen quilt* 29.62 Keeco LLC Cotton/Poly China
Queen blanket 17.84 Wal-Mart Polyester Pakistan
Throw* 14.97 Northwest Co. Polyester China
Total Retail $141.00 - 7.7% from $152.71 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet* 14.88 Springs Global Cotton USA
Bath towel 2.88 Wal-Mart Cotton Brazil
Hand towel 1.88 Wal-Mart Cotton Brazil
Wash cloth 1.38 Wal-Mart Cotton Brazil
Shower curtain 9.96 Wal-Mart Vinyl China
Bath rug 5.88 Wal-Mart Nylon USA
Soap dish 1.88 Allure Ceramic China
Lotion pump 1.88 Allure Ceramic China
Tissue box* 14.96 Springs Global Plastic China
Total Retail $55.58 +18.7% from $46.80 in 2007
Total Market Basket $196.58 -1.0% from $198.51 in 2007
Top Price Point
Bedding Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Queen sheet set 66.96 Springs Global Cotton India
Queen bed-in-a-bag 89.96 Active Imports Poly/Cotton Pakistan
Pair of standard shams 16.88 Springs Global Cotton India
Dust ruffle* 13.96 Wal-Mart Cotton Brazil
Queen quilt* 29.62 Keeco LLC Poly/Cotton China
Queen blanket 18.82 Wal-Mart Poly/Cotton China
Throw* 14.97 Northwest Co. Polyester China
Total Retail $251.17 +12.3% from $223.39 in 2007
Bath Price Manufacturer Construction Country
Bath sheet* 14.80 Springs Global Cotton USA
Bath towel 9.83 Springs Global Cotton USA
Hand towel 6.83 Springs Global Cotton USA
Wash cloth 5.83 Springs Global Cotton USA
Shower curtain 19.96 Arcs & Angels Polyester China
Bath rug 26.96 Springs Global Nylon USA
Soap dish 8.83 Springs Global Plastic China
Lotion pump 11.83 Springs Global Plastic China
Tissue box* 14.96 Springs Global Plastic China
Total Retail $119.83 +24.9% from $95.90 in 2007
Total Market Basket $371.00 +16.1% from $319.29 in 2007


High Fliers ...
Highest priced item in top-tier basket

Drops by Macy's from $625 and Kohl's from $419; LNT up $100.
JCPenney queen bed-in-a-bag $360.00
Macy's dust ruffle $335.00
Kohl's queen bed-in-a-bag $279.99
Bed Bath & Beyond queen bed-in-a-bag $249.99
Linens 'n Things queen bed-in-a-bag $249.99
Kmart queen bed-in-a-bag $103.99
Target queen quilt $89.99
Wal-Mart queen bed-in-a-bag $89.96
Marshalls queen bed-in-a-bag $59.99


... and Low Riders
Least expensive item – the wash cloth*

*One hand towel and one bath towel were priced below the wash cloth at Target.
Wal-Mart $1.38
Target $1.58
Kmart $1.99
Marshalls $1.99
Bed Bath & Beyond $2.99
Linens 'n Things $2.99
Kohl's $3.99
Macy's $4.00
JCPenney $6.99


The High/Low
$ difference between the highest and the lowest priced items in the baskets

LNT widened the spread by $100, as BBB stayed roughly even;
Kohl's and Macy's tightened markedly.
JCPenney $353.01
Macy's $331.00
Kohl's $276.00
Linens 'n Things $247.00
Bed Bath & Beyond $247.00
Kmart $102.00
Wal-Mart $88.58
Target $88.41
Marshalls $58.00


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