WASHINGTON – For the three-month period of January to March 2021, sales from furniture and home furnishings stores came in at $31.7 billion, which is a 20.4% increase over last year’s first quarter.
This is according to the Department of Commerce’s monthly report on retail sales.
Furniture sales in March continued to climb with the advanced estimate for the seasonally adjusted number coming in at $11.62 billion in March 2021 compared to $7.92 billion in March 2020.
Year-over-year growth in the furniture and home furnishings store category may reflect ongoing consumer demand and interest in home-related projects as people spend more time at home, also seen in the continued first-quarter growth of sectors like building material and gardening equipment which grew by 20.9% during the first three months of this year.
Whatever the cause, those strong home furnishings results matched the overall month for most U.S. retail and food services sales sectors, with total sales for the month coming in at $627.9 billion, a 13.7% increase during the first quarter. Retail trade sales alone also fell into the same pattern, coming in at $563.9 billion, an increase over last year’s $434.2 billion.
Looking at top-performing sectors for the first quarter, furniture and home furnishings store sales took home the fourth largest month-over-month increase, beaten out by sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and stores, up 37.2%, motor vehicle and parts dealers, up 29% and building materials and garden equipment, which was.5% higher than home furnishings.
Also for the first quarter, only food services and drinking places dropped, falling 2.3% from March 2020. Other categories with only marginal increases included food and beverage stores at 1.4% and department stores at 2.2%.