To keep you ahead of the curve during earnings season, The Motley Fool's retail sector will give you a preview of which companies are reporting in the upcoming week (Oct. 17-Oct. 21). In the process, we'll let you know what happened last quarter so that you'll have an idea of what to expect from this quarter.

Burgers, bears, and bedding -- oh my! Next week's earnings releases are shaping up to be very interesting.

To start off, we'll learn how Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC), the innovative drive-through fast-food company with the funny commercials (those guys crack me up), performed during the quarter.

Last quarter, it reversed a declining sales trend. In August, Sonic announced it would be buying up shares via a Dutch auction. What's in store for this quarter? Come back next week and find out.

Speaking of burgers, last week, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) let the cat out of the bag, reporting that strong sales, same-store sales, and earnings are on the way. What other McGoodness is in store? We'll find out next week after Alyce Lomax gets her hands on the whole McStory.

Make-your-own-stuffed-animal retailer Build-a-Bear (NYSE:BBW) has been on a tear recently and is one my best-performing companies in CAPS, The Motley Fool's new stock-ratings service, at the moment. Did I have some great insight? No. I just like the company's operations and have written about it a fewtimes. The price finally got compelling. So why the big run-up to the earnings release? Is it going to be a breakout quarter? Will it beat analysts' earnings estimates by a penny? Who knows (and who cares about the latter)? But I do know that Ryan Fuhrmann will let you know his thoughts on the company's performance next week.

Last and certainly not least, the last of the publicly traded mattress makers, Tempur-Pedic (NYSE:TPX), reports on its quarterly performance at the end of the week. It continues to perform relatively well as a disruptive technology in the mattress world. How much comfy foam has the company been slinging lately? We'll find out and compare its results with those from Sealy (NYSE:ZZ) and Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS).

In case you missed it because you hit the snooze alarm too many times thanks to your Tempur-Pedic mattress, here's a summary of what happened this week in the world of retailing. And be sure to check out what the Fool's best and brightest analysts say about the companies above next week.

Fool on!

Retail editor and Inside Value team member David Meier does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. You can view his TMF profile here. The Fool takes its disclosure policy very seriously.