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Discounters drive retail growth

Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, July 23, 2001

Value-driven retailers led the way again as the fastest-growing distribution channel to watch, as the slow economy continues to impact the retail environment.

As consumers decide against purchases in apparel and luxury, they flock instead to the discounters for their everyday supplies, favoring the moderate price points instead. And that trend is seen in Home Textiles Today's latest compilation of the top 10 retailers in four categories — net sales growth in home textiles; percentage growth in home textiles; net unit growth; and percentage unit growth — following the release of the Top 50 retailers in home textiles last week.

Of the 10 spots on each of the four lists, discounters filled up almost half, while only two department stores —the mass market department store chain Kohl's and Saks' Carson Pirie Scott — placed on the lists. Specialty stores, supercenters and catalogs made up the rest.

Four retailers of note — Bed Bath & Beyond, Linens 'N Things, Kohl's and Family Dollar — were on every list.

Growth in the past year was difficult for many retailers, given the economic turmoil. Some familiar players from 1999's fastest-growing retailer lists are not found on this year's: JCPenney; Ames; Pier 1 Imports; ShopKo; Fred Meyer; Ikea and Blair. However, they still ranked on the Top 50 for 2000, with the exception of catalog and direct mail marketer Blair Corp.

Three discounters debuted on both the Top 50 and the lists for unit growth for 2000. Dollar General slid easily into first place as the retailer with the largest number of added store units, with Big Lots and Tuesday Morning also positioning themselves on that list. Dollar General and Tuesday Morning also ranked on the top 10 retailers for percent unit growth.

Bed Bath & Beyond again led the group for the largest net sales growth last year, with a $296.0 million increase gain for a grand total of $1.318 billion. Target fell into second place again, with $194.0 million, for its total of $1.759 billion. Linens 'N Things outdid Wal-Mart this year, with $139.0 million, compared to Wal-Mart's $114.0 million, to take third place, with Wal-Mart coming in fourth. Kohl's leapfrogged over Kmart's $63.0 million gain with a $99.0 million increase in home textiles sales for a fifth-place finish, up from seventh in 1999.

Burlington Coat Factory's Luxury Linens division added $46.2 million to its home textiles sales for 2000, a 21.8 percent gain from the prior year. Hanover Direct's The Company Store followed behind closely with $44.0 million, placing eighth. Family Dollar and Spiegel rounded out the list with $36.6 million and $34.0 million, respectively.

For percent of sales growth in home textiles, however, The Company Store catalog jumped into first place with its $44 million increase, a 44 percent increase for a total of $144.0 million. Kohl's followed behind at second with a 30.8 percent gain, for a total of $420.0 million in home textiles sales.

In third, Bed Bath experienced a 29.0 percent climb in sales growth last year.

Stein Mart followed in fourth place with a 22.4 percent increase for a total of $120.0 million. Luxury Linens came in fifth at 21.8 percent, and Carson Pirie Scott had a 20.3 percent gain for sixth place.

Linens 'N Things came in next, with an 18 percent gain for a total of $913 million in sales. Ross Dress for Less Stores grew 16.5 percent in this category for a total of $134.0 million. Spiegel and Family Dollar followed in ninth and 10th place, with 16.2 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.

Two dollar stores topped the list for the largest net unit growth. Dollar General, a newcomer to the Top 50 list, came in first with 707 additional units for a 2000 total of 5,001. Family Dollar added 376 stores last year for a total of 3,833 locations. Wal-Mart came in third with 102 units for a total of 2,624.

Bed Bath grew by 70 locations in 2000, for fourth place. This drive will most likely continue for the year 2001, since Bed Bath plans to open a total of 80 domestic sites this year, as well as its first international one in Puerto Rico.

Target was only slightly behind with 65 new store openings for a total of 977, followed by Kohl's, which ranked sixth with 61 new locations.

Big Lots debuted on this list in the seventh spot, just slightly behind Kohl's, with its 60 new stores in 2000. T.J. Maxx/Marshalls was right behind with 59 openings.

Linens 'N Things was ninth with its 53 new net stores, which included the debut of 17 new domestic markets as well as Canada. In 10th, Tuesday Morning grew by 49 new stores last year for a total of 431.

Saks' Carson Pirie Scott division grew its store base by the largest percentage last year, increasing it by 71.9 percent for a total of 98 stores. No new stores are planned to open for this year, however.

Discounter Value City grew 31.4 percent for a total of 138 stores. Then the familiar face of Bed Bath came in third, with its addition of 70 new stores for a 29 percent increase in store units.

Kohl's followed in fourth place with 23.6 percent growth, though with last year's openings of 61 new locations, the chain now outnumbers Bed Bath's 311 stores with a total of 320 locations. It also is on the track of rapid expansion and has opened or will open in several new markets this year.

Linens 'N Things hit fifth place with 23.0 percent for a store total of 283.

Dollar General grew 16.5 percent for a whopping total of 5,001 stores, placing sixth. Meijer's 20 new stores in 2000 brought the supercenter retailer to seventh place, with its 15.7 percent gain. Tuesday Morning debuted on this list as well, with a 12.8 percent increase in store base for a total of 431 stores. Family Dollar and Stein Mart rounded out the list, with 10.9 percent and 10.2 percent gains, respectively.

Top 10 home textiles retailers by percent sales growth

Rank Company (Top 50 Rank) Store Type Home Textiles Sales ($ Millions) 2000 1999 Percent Change Net Change ($ Millions)
Source: Home Textiles Today research
1 The Company Store Weehawken, NJ (30) C $144.0 $100.0 44.0% $44.0
2 Kohl's Menomonee Falls, WI (9) DP $420.0 $321.0 30.8% $99.0
3 Bed Bath & Beyond Union, NJ (5) SP $1,318.0 $1,022.0 29.0% $296.0
4 Stein Mart Jacksonville, FL (38) DC $120.0 $98.0 22.4% $22.0
5 Luxury Linens Burlington, NJ (16) SP $258.0 $211.8 21.8% $46.2
6 Carson Pirie Scott Milwaukee (49) DP $71.0 $59.0 20.3% $12.0
7 Linens 'N Things Clifton, NJ (6) SP $913.0 $774.0 18.0% $139.0
8 Ross Dress for Less Stores Newark, CA (34) DC $134.0 $115.0 16.5% $19.0
9 Spiegel Downers Grove, IL (18) C $244.0 $210.0 16.2% $34.0
10 Family Dollar Matthews, NC (14) DC $263.4 $226.8 16.1% $36.6


Top 10 home textiles retailers by net sales growth

Rank Company (Top 50 Rank) Store Type Home Textiles Sales ($ Millions) 2000 1999 Percent Change Net Change ($ Millions)
Source: Home Textiles Today research
1 Bed Bath & Beyond Union, NJ (5) SP $1,318.0 $1,022.0 29.0% $296.0
2 Target Stores Minneapolis (4) DC/SC $1,759.0 $1,565.0 12.4% $194.0
3 Linens 'N Things Clifton, NJ (6) SP $913.0 $774.0 18.0% $139.0
4 Wal-Mart Bentonville, AR (1) DC/SC $2,389.0 $2,275.0 5.0% $114.0
5 Kohl's Menomonee Falls, WI (9) DP $420.0 $321.0 30.8% $99.0
6 Kmart Troy, MI (3) DC/SC $1,837.0 $1,774.0 3.6% $63.0
7 Luxury Linens Burlington, NJ (16) SP $258.0 $211.8 21.8% $46.2
8 The Company Store Weehawken, NJ (30) C $144.0 $100.0 44.0% $44.0
9 Family Dollar Matthews, NC (14) DC $263.4 $226.8 16.1% $36.6
10 Spiegel Downers Grove, Ill. (18) C $244.0 $210.0 16.2% $34.0


Top 10 home textiles retailers by percent unit growth

Rank Company (Top 50 Rank) Store Type Number of Stores 2000 1999 Percent Change Net Change
Source: Home Textiles Today research
1 Carson Pirie Scott Milwaukee (49) DP 98 57 71.9% 41
2 Value City Dept. Stores Columbus, OH (33) DC 138 105 31.4% 33
3 Bed Bath & Beyond Union, NJ (5) SP 311 241 29.0% 70
4 Kohl's Menomonee Falls, WI (9) DP 320 259 23.6% 61
5 Linens 'N Things Clifton, NJ (6) SP 283 230 23.0% 53
6 Dollar General Goodlettsville, TN (40) DC 5,001 4,294 16.5% 707
7 Meijer Grand Rapids, MI (25) SC 147 127 15.7% 20
8 Tuesday Morning Addison, TX (43) DC 431 382 12.8% 49
9 Family Dollar Matthews, NC (14) DC 3,833 3,457 10.9% 376
10 Stein Mart Jacksonville, FL (38) DC 226 205 10.2% 21


Top 10 home textiles retailers by net unit growth

Rank Company (Top 50 Rank) Store Type Number of Stores 2000 1999 Percent Change Net Change
Source: Home Textiles Today research
1 Dollar General Goodlettsville, TN (40) DC 5,001 4,294 16.5% 707
2 Family Dollar Matthews, NC (14) DC 3,833 3,457 10.9% 376
3 Wal-Mart Bentonville, AR (1) DC/SC 2,624 2,522 4.0% 102
4 Bed Bath & Beyond Union, NJ (5) SP 311 241 29.0% 70
5 Target Stores Minneapolis (4) DC/SC 977 912 7.1% 65
6 Kohl's Menomonee Falls, WI (9) DP 320 259 23.6% 61
7 Big Lots Columbus, OH (15) DC 1,290 1,230 4.9% 60
8 T.J. Maxx/Marshalls Framingham, MA (8) DC 1,196 1,137 5.2% 59
9 Linens 'N Things Clifton, NJ (6) SP 283 230 23.0% 53
10 Tuesday Morning Addison, TX (43) DC 431 382 12.8% 49


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