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Wal-Mart nears $3B mark in home textiles sales

New York — Wal-Mart is about to become the industry's first $3 billion home textiles retailer, widening the gap further between it and No. 2 JCPenney by $555 million.

At the same time, the third largest home textiles retailer, Target, which is threatening to overtake Penney, even as both are being threatened by specialist Bed Bath & Beyond, is in the fourth spot - for the moment.

The Top 5 remained the same in the exclusive Home Textiles Today Top 50 retail rankings for 2002, but there was no shortage of twists and high-drama subplots to the story.

And the Top 5 increased its sales clout within the ranks of the Top 50, moving up 7.5 percent to $11.02 billion in 2002 from $10.25 billion in 2001.

The home textiles universe for 2002 was $23.9 billion, up 3.0 percent from the 2001 sales of $23.2 billion.

Wal-Mart continued as the leader in home textiles sales with a 13 percent increase, bringing it to the $2.92 billion mark, increasing its lead over the former No. 1, JCPenney, which had home textiles sales of $2.36 billion for 2002.

Penney, which was deposed from its lead rank in HTT's ranking in 2000, saw the gap between it and Wal-Mart increase by $555 million in 2002, up from a differential of $245 million in 2001, and a scant $46 million in '00, the year it lost its crown.

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