Furniture store retail slides as overall picture stabilizes

Furniture store sales continued to slump slightly in June according to the Department of Commerce’s advance monthly report on retail sales. However, the overall retail picture looks to be stabilizing somewhat.

Advanced estimates, released July 16 show furniture and home furnishings store sales at $11.83 billion for the month, down 3.6% when compared with May’s revised figure of $12.27 billion. That decline was the sharpest among categories measured by the DOC. Still, July’s sales were leaps and bounds ahead of where they were a year ago, as they rose 17.1% over the $10.1 billion in sales for June 2020.

The three-month period from April to June was 1.8% ahead of January through March, and it represented a nearly 70% jump from that same timeframe in 2020.

The DOC reported that the overall retail snapshot at $621.34 billion for June, a slight (0.6%) increase from May’s revised $617.94 billion. Much like the furniture and home furnishings numbers, the overall spectrum was up 18% from June 2020’s $526.66 billion in sales.

For the month, retail got its biggest boosts from miscellaneous retailers, which were up 3.4%, electronics and appliance stores (3.3%), clothes and clothing accessories stores (2.6%) and gas stations (2.5).

In addition to furniture and home furnishings, notable segments that showed declines included motor vehicle and auto parts stores, which dropped 2%; sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores (down 1.7%); and building material, garden equipment and supplies dealers (down 1.6%).

The DOC’s advance estimates are based on a sub-sample of the U.S. Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,500 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of more than 3 million retail and food services firms.

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