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.