Top 50 Giants Retailers by Finest Linens and Things

Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's Repeat as Fast Gainers

By Finest Linens and Things online report.

New York — The Home Textiles Today exclusive Top 50 Retailing Giants in Home Textiles continued to grow its share of the total market in 2006, increasing 5.1% to $24.7 billion, or 90% of the market.
The total home textiles retail universe in 2006 was $27.4 billion, up 3.0% from $26.6 billion in 2005.

And while the Top 10 remained the same, with sales of $17.5 billion, up 5.5% from their 2005 combined sales of $16.6 billion, there were shifts in those players' ranks. Even more significantly, the Big Three — Wal-Mart, JCPenney, and Bed Bath & Beyond — moved closer together in total home textiles revenues.

Wal-Mart, once again in first place, had 2006 home textiles revenues of $3.64 billion, up 5.1% over its 2005 sales. JCPenney had '06 home textiles revenues of $3.06 billion, a gain of 3.1% — and meanwhile Bed Bath & Beyond swelled by 11.4% to $3.04 billion over its '05 revenues.
In the sales derby among the Big Three that began with the 2005 rankings, Bed Bath is closing in on both of the leaders with significantly higher dollar and percentage sales increases.

In comparing 2006 versus 2005 among the trio, there was a difference of $575 million in '06 between JCPenney and Wal-Mart, compared with a $492 million gap between the '05 sales. However, the gap between JCP and Bed Bath & Beyond for '06 was $25 million, a dramatic closing from the $242 million that separated them in '05. And the difference between Wal-Mart and BBB closed to $600 million for '06 versus $734 million in the '05 period..
Target, for the second year, retained its fourth place slot with home textiles sales of $2.6 billion, up 4.1%.

Within the Top 10, the only rankings shift was the trading-places dance between Kohl's, attaining $1.1 billion in sales and moving to No. 5, up from No. 7 in '05, while Linens 'n Things, at $993.0 million, dropped to No. 7 from No. 5. (With new information available, privately-held LNT's home textiles volume as a proportion of total sales has been restated, corrected dramatically downward for both years.)

Just as Target retained its fourth position, others holding in place were Kmart, in sixth place at $1.0 billion, a drop of 6.3%, and T.J.Maxx/Marshall's at No. 9 with $615 million, a 3.4% gain.
New to the Top 10 list at No. 10 is Williams-Sonoma, which replaces its major division Pottery Barn (no longer reported separately in the Top 50 Retailing Giants) in that slot. Corporately, the company had home textiles sales of $595 million, up 8.2% from its '05 sales of $550. Even as Pottery Barn continues to be the major home textiles player in the company, its West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home businesses have expanded their reach into the textiles world.
The Top 5, with sales of $13.5 billion, was up 6.8%, and accounted for 54.6% of the Top 50 compared with 53.8% in '05. This is a significant concentration of retail power — in contrast to the relatively static condition of the Top 10, which now represents 71% of the Top 50 revenues, up just slightly from 70.7% in '05.

In the rankings from No. 11 to No. 20, there are two new players — Hanover Direct, at No. 19 with sales of $230.0 million — flat with '05 but up from No. 21 in the rankings; and Lowe's, at No 20, up from No. 24 with '06 sales of $222.0 million, up 8.8% from '05.
Big Lots, now at No. 11, swapped rankings with Sears, now at No. 12. Family Dollar held its place at No. 13 with a 7.7% sales gain; Ross Stores jumped to No. 14 from No. 17 with a 16.4% increase.

As Luxury Linens, the Burlington Coat Factory division, moved down one spot with a 2.8% sales decline to $315 million, IKEA moved up from No. 20 to No. 16 with $305 million for '06. Anna's Linens, at No. 18, edged up from No. 19, on a sales gain of 13% to $260 million in home textiles.
The Top 20 represents $20.7 billion in home textiles revenues for '06, up 5.5% from '05, and 83.9% of the Top 50's revenues for '06, compared with 83.5% of the Top 50 in '05.
New to the ranks of the Top 50 below the Top 20 are The Bon-Ton Stores at No. 32, the result of the department store group's string of acquisitions, in particular the Northern Division of Saks Inc. The Bon-Ton had home textiles sales of $149.0 million, up 2.8% over '05. The other newcomer is Ashley Furniture HomeStores, the exploding retail arm of Ashley Furniture that came in at No. 46 with home textiles sales of $74.0 million.

The rankings continue to be impacted by the consolidation of statistics resulting from the acquisition of May Department Stores by Federated Department Stores — now Macy's, Inc. The 2005 sales figures included full-year results for Macy's Home Store — which was the first time the rankings combined all five Macy's divisions — as well as a five-month sales record from the former May units. The 2006 home textiles results include Macy's Home Store as well as a complete 12 months of May units. Interestingly, the ranking stays the same at No. 8, with an aggregate 5.8% increase to $820.0 million.

There were eight of the Top 50 companies who had double-digit sales gains for the '06 year, led by IKEA with a 24.5% increase, bringing its home textiles sales to $305 million. The other double-digit increasers were Kohl's with 18.3%, Ross Stores with 16.4%, Restoration Hardware with 15.7%, Big Lots at 13.2%, Anna's Linens at 13%, Costco at 12.8%, and Bed Bath & Beyond at 11.4%.

In all, 35 of the 50 retailers recorded gains.
Three companies were flat compared with '05: Hanover Direct, Country Curtains and Lands End, and Finest Linens and Things.

On the double-digit minus side were three retailers: Sears with a decline of 11.6%, No. 42-ranked Stein Mart with a drop of 10.8%, and Linen Source at No. 48 with a drop of 10%.

There were 11 retailers recording declines for 2006.

A Bridal Registry of Today's Reality by Finest Linens and Things

Brides building their bridal registries today are thinking twice about china cabinet classics, turning instead to home items in which the luxury is a bit more casual."Five-piece place settings are for my mother's generation," says new bride Julie Mathers, 31. "We wanted gifts that would work with our lifestyle and help make our home more inviting and luxurious -- and luxury for me is a home where my husband and I can escape from the world."

Like many brides, Mathers is finding her own definition of luxury in home décor items that she says are embraceable, such as handmade pottery serving pieces and Egyptian cotton bath towels. Absent from her registry were more formal items including fine china, sterling flatware and silver serving dishes.

"Silver is fine for some people, but we wanted gifts we knew we would use," says the North Carolina native.And since Mathers and her fiancé had separate homes before they married -- today's average bride is 27 and her groom is 29 -- they already had many of the essential items needed to set up a household. They used their bridal registry to embellish their home, asking for patio furniture and a gas grill for casual entertaining and choosing high-end linens and towels and an oversized showerhead to make their bathroom a home spa.

"Bridal registries are becoming less utilitarian and more personalized," says Leslie Gillock from Wamsutta home fashions, which recently launched to help brides organize their bridal registry thoughts. "Brides are still using registries to outfit their kitchens and build their linen closets, but they're also adding an eclectic mix of home décor items that are fun, functional and luxurious.

"That's the case for bride-to-be Lani Britten. "How often would I use fine china? In my lifestyle, it's impractical, and my taste will probably change over the years," says the 28-year-old South Florida bride. "I will put luxury in my bedroom though," says Britten, who registered for high-thread count, 100 percent cotton sheets, a silk comforter and even a bedskirt and throw pillows. "Nice sheets will never go out of style," she says. "Plus, they're something my fiancé and I can both enjoy.

"Along with hopes of possibly getting her first set of Court of Versailles 500-Thread Count sheets, Britten is excited about adding soft chenille rugs, a spa bath pillow and a CD player to her home -- items she defines as indulgent yet practical. They will allow her to create the bedroom retreat sheís always imagined. And since Britten and her fiancé like to entertain, they're hoping their bridal registry will allow them to add finishing decorating touches to their home with artwork, outdoor games and barbecue tools.

"We want a nice home, but we want it to be comfortable for us and welcoming to our friends," she says. "Some day, we may decide we need fine china, but right now, our lifestyle is casual, and our luxuries unpretentious."

Bridal Registry Tips

Keep these guidelines in mind when creating a bridal registry:

Select items from two categories What you really need -- such as utensils and dishes -- and what you really want -- such as that set of indulgent Court of Versailles 500-Thread Count sheets.

Give gift givers choices

Men might like to buy their buddies a gas grill from a Wal-Mart, and girlfriends will enjoy the decorative selections at home stores such as , Finest Linens and Things, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Stock up

You'll want at least eight to 12 dinnerware place settings and utensils, three sets of sheets for the master bedroom and enough towels for you and your first guests.

Check up

Review your registries periodically to take off items that you've already received and add new items as you plan your new home.

Tips on Bridal Trousseau by Finest Linens and Things

Your bed is the place you will share the deepest love with your new husband. You bed linens must be of good quality and well selected. So, you will always have a inviting bed for love and endless passion.

Perfect Trousseaux for a bridal Registry.

- 1 Sheet Set made of pure cotton
(white or color, high thread-count)
- 1 Sheet Set monogrammed the couples initials (white or color, high tread-count)
- 1 Duvet Cover to match the plain sheet set
- 1 Duvet Cover to match the monogrammed sheet set
- 1 Mixed & Match pure cotton Sheet Set
(combination color you like)
- 1 Matelasse Bedspread
- 1 Handmade Quilt
(French or American style to match your sheets choices)
- 2 Bed skirts to match your bedding choices
- 4 pillows protectors
- 2 pillows king size
(down pillows recommended or Silk filled for allergies)
- 2 Pillows Queen/Standard (down pillow recommended or Silk filled for allergies)
- 1 Down comforter (to match your lifestyle or Silk Comforter for allergies)
- 1 Down Blanket (for summer time - or Quilt bed cover as option)
- 1 Blanket (cotton, wool, Cashmere, or mohair)
- 2 Bathrobes
(monogramming option)
- 4 Bath rugs
- 4 Sets of Bath Towels monogrammed
- 4 Sets of Bath Towels plain
- 4 Bathtub rugs
- 8 Hand Towels
(plain or monogrammed)
- 8 Guest Towels
- 1 Mattress Pad (if necessary)
- 1 Formal Tablecloth with coordinating napkins
- 1 Casual Tablecloth
- 12 Placemats
- 24 Napkins
(mix & matching)
- 1 Laundry Bag
- 1 Lingerie Bag
- 6 Kitchen Towels


- Euro Square Pillow, Euro Pillow Protector, Euro Shams (matching your linens)
- Silk Sheets Sets (silk duvet cover as option)
- Linen Sheets Sets
(Linen Duvet Cover as option)
- Patterned Duvet Cover
- Square Quilt Modern Bedcover (plain or patterned)
- Patterned Bath Towels
- Patterned Sheets
- Lace inserted Sheets & Duvet Cover
- Patterned Bath Robes

For help and details please contact Finest Linens and Things, they a supportive wedding registry concierge.

Faster way to Change a Duvet Cover?

Humm, I guess we all need these tips.

read more | digg story

UK tips USA on Duvet Cover Changing. by Fine st Linens and Things

UK tips USA on Fastest way to Change a Duvet Cover

The quickest way to change a duvet revealed

The mystery of how to quickly change a duvet cover has been solved by a new study.

Timed participants found `feeding into the corners' was the speediest approach.

They beat hot competition from fans of the `inside out' and `climb in' methods.

Around 1,000 customers took part in the study carried out at linen departments in 13 John Lewis stores around England.

Feeding into the corners was the most popular technique, chosen by 46% of participants. The fastest change took just 44 seconds.

The `inside out' technique was favoured by 38% with the fastest change taking 51 seconds

Just 16% of participants opted to climb inside duvet covers to fit them from the inside. This cumbersome method took 56 seconds.


Duncan Kent, linens department manager for John Lewis, Oxford Street said the chain had cracked the duvet change code.

He said: Previously I was a devotee of the Inside Out method but following this trial I will be adopting the Feeding Into The Corners technique."

Londoners were the most efficient at changing their duvet covers while Mancunians were the slowest.

Making the Bed with Deamy Linens

Dispite of what people think in now days that tread-count is number one priority for luxury bedding, you may be surprice to know that tread count has nothing to do with luxury linens. According to the Manager of Finest Linens and Things in Florida store, Ms. Marcia Baracaldo says "low quality bedding bedding are made with High tread count.

read more | digg story

Now that you read about tread count. Lets tak about the best brand you can trust for luxury linens. Means where you're going to get the real deal.

Sferra Linens If Jackie Onassis were a bed, she would be a sferra bed. The 115-year-old Italian company is know for its ecletic mixture of solids, stripes and patters that look as if someone has meticulously culled the best sheets, shams, blankets and duvet covers to create an effortlessly chic bed. Sferra has over 50 different styles of sheets in five different fabrics, including linen and 1,020-tread-count jacquard, as well as quilted cotton and cashmere blankets, the company's well round inventorory amounts to finished product that looks pulled together but never overdone. Prices from $45 to $1,250; Limited-edition sets $are $14,0000.

Ann Gish The practical elegance of Ann Gish's linens rests in her ability to create 100 percent silk sheets that are also 100 percent machine washable. The sheets are offered in an array of colors, from brights to neutrals, and are available in solid silk with the option of an embroidered or contrasting color band. Ann Gish also offeres cotton sateen sheets with interchangeable silk bands that wrap around the edges of the fitted sheet and pillowcases so that the sheets can quickly transform to match differents quilts and comfortes Prices from $35 to $1,4000.

Ankasa The husband-and-wife team of Sachin and babi Ahluwalia had beem designing textiles for 10 years for companies like Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang when they realized that when it come to bedding, nothing complemented their fashion-foward syle. To fill the void, they launched Ankasa two years ago with three different collection. The company offers now offers 20 different ansembles that range from the all-white, hand-embroidered Snow Drift to Casablanca, with conch shell embroidery and batik beadwork. Prices from $65 to $2,500.

Things you Need to know and How Le Creuset Cookware Helps you stay healthy

Healthy Living tips by Finest Linens and Things

Eating for longevity begins in the kitchen. You may be eating only organic, antioxidant-rich foods, but if you cooked your food on the toxic surface of your stovetop in a carcinogenic no-stick pan, you just might be doing more harm than good. Find out how to make over your kitchen for health and long life!

Cut the Grease Without the Toxins When you are facing a stovetop with a buildup of baked-on grease, don’t turn to commercial oven and stovetop cleaners - that is like cleaning with poison.

Instead, try baking soda. Just sprinkle baking soda on your stovetop, let it sit for five minutes and then scour the surface with either steel wool or scrubber. For the stubborn spots that refuse to be removed, try spraying this mixture on: mix dishwashing liquid, borax, and warm water together; let it sit for 20 minutes, and then scour it.

Microwave: Nothing to Rave About People in the U. S. think microwaves are an ingenious time-saving device and wonder how anyone ever lived without one. Think again!

Microwaves use super-fast particles to literally radiate the contents of water inside food and bring it to boil. Not only has microwave use been linked to causing infertility in men, but it also denatures many of the essential proteins in the food making them virtually indigestible.

If you must, use the low setting just to heat the foods. Or better yet, get a small toaster oven or steam oven and warm your foods. Take your time and warm up your food in a safe and healthy way.

Poisonous Pots and Pans Are your pots and pans poisoning you? If you are using copper or aluminum cookware, they might be. These metals interact with heat and food, and leach into your diet; gradually these will accumulate in your body, sometimes reaching the point of toxicity.

Toxic levels of aluminum have been linked to memory loss, headaches, indigestion, and brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. High levels of copper can debilitate the immune system and enable cancer cells to proliferate.

After scouring with abrasives, even stainless steel can release small amounts of toxic metals like chromium and nickel. Nonstick pans - although convenient in the kitchen - contain Teflon, a plastic that in recent years has been linked to immune disorders and possible cancer conditions.

My suggestion is to use cookware with porcelain enamel coating or made of glass, cast iron, or lead-free, terra-cotta clay. We have a great selection of cookware in our online store please visit Finest Linens and Things online for more details.

Finest Linens and things carries brands like Le Creuset, Le creuset Cast Iron , Bialetti Cookware among the healthiest cookware available.

Bad News About Canned Goods In today’s industrialized world, it is more important than ever to search out fresh food, as much for the health benefits of locally grown produce as for the health dangers presented by the alternative.

Canned foods, though easier to use than cooking from scratch, are a threat to your health. The substance bisphenol A, used to line food cans, is classified as an endocrine disruptor, a compound that can act like a hormone when it enters the human system.

Scientists have discovered that exposure to these chemicals can contribute to prostate cancer, breast cancer, cystic ovaries, and endometriosis.

I hope you receive the longevity rewards that come from making over your kitchen! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me at.