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. 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.

Although most companies have already reported their quarterly earnings for this season, we do have some heavy hitters coming to the plate this week. Are they going to knock one into the outfield bleachers or sulk back to the dugout after striking out? That's what the Fool will let you know next week.

We'll start with a report from the big blue consumer-electronics retailer, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). The company reported a solid third-quarter performance, and Alyce Lomax wondered whether the best was yet to come. The company reiterated its guidance for the year, so I am curious to know how this next quarter will fit into the plan.

Meanwhile, according to Motley Fool CAPS, our new community-intelligence service, Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) have outperformed the market, while Dollar General (NYSE:DG) has struggled. In fact, Matthew Crews examined Dollar General's latest press release, which laid out its plans to turn itself around, and wondered whether the company finds itself in a third-and-long situation. Perhaps we'll find out from this quarter's earnings whether the coach has the players to pick up the 20 yards necessary for the first down.

Turning our attention to food, we see that CKE Restaurants (NYSE:CKR), parent of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants and creator of the manliest of the manly burgers, the Thickburger, has been on a roll. Last quarter, the company surprised everyone and trounced expectations. Does it have another rabbit in its hat -- and maybe another product extension to follow the Jalapeno Thickburger? We'll find out next week.

Lastly, we'll hear from the granddaddy of warehouse retailing and my mother's favorite store, Costco (NASDAQ:COST). (My mom still gives me a hard time for not giving her the green light to buy shares years ago. For the last time, Mom, I'm sorry.) Whether it's opening stores, getting great productivity out of its employees, or keeping customers by passing along savings to them, Costco continues to be one of the best-run retailers in the world. You may not agree with all of its methods, but it's hard to argue with its performance, and I can't wait to see what this next round will bring.

In case you were out doing some last-minute Christmas shopping and weren't able to keep up with our retail news from this week, we've summarized the best for you in our retail review. That's our little way of saying "thanks" for being a devoted reader.

Fool on!

Best Buy, Family Dollar, and Costco are all Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Dollar Tree is an Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Check out either service with a free, 30-day trial.

Retail editor and Inside Value team member David Meier is ranked 293 out of 15,249 players in Motley Fool CAPS and 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.