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WAL-MART CONTINUES TO BE THE DOMINATING RETAIL FACTOR.

NEW YORK-Almost 8 cents of every dollar spent by consumers on products for the home last year was handed to someone standing beside a Wal-Mart register.

That's up from a little more than 7 cents the year before.

And counting only sales from the nation's top 150 retailers of home furnishings, more than 12 cents per dollar was given to Wal-Mart in 2002. That, too, is up from the previous year.

These are breathtaking proportions, demonstrating -- if evidence is still needed -- the awesome revenue-generating capacity of the world's largest company.

It may be an exaggeration to say that "everybody" shops at Wal-Mart, but it cannot be too far from the truth.

In fact, the overall ratios tell only part of the story. Wal-Mart heads the lists of retailers in textiles, tabletop, housewares and vacuum cleaners.

Not only does the mass merchant top sales in all these categories, it accounts for a huge proportion of the leaders' revenues.

In housewares alone, for example, Wal-Mart's $10.8 billion in 2002 amounted to more than a third of the sales of the 25 leading retailers.

In tabletop, the mass merchant rang up more than $737 million, or nearly a quarter of the dinnerware, flatware, glassware and china sales tallied by the top 20 retailers in that category.

In home textiles, the giant's sales of nearly $3.4 billion amounted to 17.5 percent of the top 25. And in vacuums, Wal-Mart's portion was nearly 30 percent of the top 10.

Indeed, it is only in major appliances, soft floor coverings and furniture that Wal-Mart does not take a leadership position in the home furnishings universe, but even in those categories the retailer's sales are worth noting: more than $835 million in furniture, for example, and almost $220 million in floor coverings.

Wal-Mart's revenues are of significance to more than the world of home furnishings or even of retailing in general. They reveal the increasingly central place of the company in the nation's economy.

In 2002, for example, Wal-Mart's total U.S. sales amounted to 1.95 percent of gross domestic product, which measures the value of all the goods and services the nation generates. That was up from 1.81 percent the year before, reflecting nearly an 8 percent growth rate that shows no sign of slacking.
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Comment:WAL-MART CONTINUES TO BE THE DOMINATING RETAIL FACTOR.
Author:Weber, Nathan
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 18, 2003
Words:384
Previous Article:TOP 150 HOME RETAILERS.
Next Article:IN FURNITURE, REGIONAL CHAINS AND WHOLESALE CLUBS SHINE.
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