Buckle up – Outlook for $17+ billion in home textiles sales ahead this week

Q2 investor calls will provide latest trajectory for the business

New York – Seven leading volume retailers with combined annual home textiles sales of $17.6 billion will report their second quarter results this week. Here’s a quick hit list of what to look for.

Walmart: Reports 8/16. Home textiles sales = $7.1 billion

A month ago, Walmart cut its full-year guidance, saying the slowdown in general merchandise sales that began in Q1 was still ongoing, thus causing more markdowns than it had planned for. Earlier this month, Walmart laid off more than 200 headquarters staff as part of a restricting in the home office. Are things looking any rosier for the bellwether retailer?

Target: Reports 8/17. Home textiles sales = $4.2 billion

A rapid shift in the sales mix during Q1 left Target overloaded with inventory in categories like home, and it began planning more conservatively in discretionary categories. But Target is also a big destination for Back-to-Campus, especially dorm essentials. Its investor update this week should provide an early read on the season.

TJX Cos: Reports 8/17. Home textiles sales = $3.5 billion

The blistering pace of growth at TJX cooled down in Q1. Comp at HomeGoods declined 7% on top of a 40% increase in the year-ago quarter, and the home department comp at Marmaxx was off at a similar pace. However, the overall home business was described as very healthy and execs said shoppers were taking price increases in stride. We’ll find out on Wednesday whether that’s still the case.

Kohl’s: Reports 8/18. Home textiles sales = $1.5 billion

In early July, Kohl’s announced that business was even softer than it had anticipated and adjusted its expectations down accordingly. In home, where Q1 sales tumbled 17%, Kohl’s said it would pursue ancillary growth in home décor categories where it has relatively little share. We could get more insight on those plans this week.

Ross Stores: Reports 8/18. Home textiles sales = $1.3 billion

The off-pricer received its second quarter home goods imports earlier than expected, and with demand for the home category declining, Ross stored them in packaway and planned to flow them later this year. Ross execs said they expected sales and profitability to improve over the course of the year. We’ll learn this week if the there are any signs that the tide has begun to turn.

Home Depot and Lowe’s: Report 8/16. Combined home textiles sales = $1.17 billion

Home Depot kicked off the year with a strong Q1 performance as DIY customers continued to trade up for better-quality home improvement products. Execs were feeling optimistic about medium-to-longer term  demand. Lowe’s wasn’t as lucky, with first quarter sales down 4% on what the home improvement retailer attributed to unseasonably cooler spring temperatures, although sales trends began improving in May. The question: How will the outlook each shares this week be impacted by the flattening house market?

Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Marks shares news and views from around the home textiles marketplace.