Home furnishings second strongest performer for August, says DOC

The overall retail picture and the furniture and home furnishings snapshot both continued to show gains over 2020 performances, and each segment rebounded in August after a couple of softer months according to the Department of Commerce’s advance monthly report on retail sales.

In August, adjusted sales figures for the overall retail picture climbed 15.1% to $618.6 billion for the month vs. $537.7 billion in August 2020. For the month, that $618.6 billion figure was up modestly, jumping 0.7% from July’s $614.3 billion.

Furniture and home furnishings outperformed both metrics in August. In comparing year-over-year, the category posted sales of $12.5 billion for the month, a gain of 15.6% compared with $10.8 billion last August. The August 2021 figure was also 3.7% greater than July’s adjusted $12.05 billion.

The furniture and home furnishings category was the second-strongest performer for the month, only outpaced by nonstore retail’s monthly gain of 5.3%. Other strong performers included general merchandise stores (up 3.5%) and food and beverage stores (up 1.8%).

Motor vehicle and parts dealers (down 3.6%), electronics and appliance stores (down 3.1%) and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores (down 2.7%) were the only categories to post monthly declines in August.

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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