June furniture store sales up 17.1%

WASHINGTON — Furniture and home furnishings stores posted a 17.1% increase in June sales over the same month last year, weathering the first full-month post-lockdown comparison with a sizable, though narrowing, year-over-year gain.

Sales for the home furnishings sector increased $11.83 billion this June, up from $10.10 billion for the same month a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce report released this morning. However, sales for the month decreased from May sales, which were revised up slightly to $12.27 billion from the previous $12.24 billion estimate, as the industry joined autos and a couple of other sectors posting slight declines.

With the YOY gain, the furniture sector has now experienced 13 consecutive monthly increases. For the second quarter, April through June, the industry saw a nearly 70% increase from the same period a year ago. This was despite the flood of consumer demand that began last year during this period and the rash of product shortages and delays that continue to plague the industry. It should be noted the DOC sales survey distributed to retailers for this report does not appear to distinguish between written and delivered sales.

Combined retail and food services sales in June increased 18.0% from June a year ago to $621.3 billion and increased 0.6% from May. Retail trade sales alone increased 15.6% year-over-year and were up 0.3% from May. The overall YOY gain was driven largely by the two sectors hardest hit during the pandemic — clothing and clothing accessories stores (up 47.1%) and bars and restaurants (up 40.2%).

The electronics and appliance stores sector and gas stations also saw big YOY gains, up  37.3% and 37.1%, respectively. Nonstore retailers — primarily e-commerce retailers but also catalog companies — posted a 12.0% YOY gain and were up 1.2% from May.

 Again this past month, nearly all sectors saw double-digit year-over-year gains, with the exception of building material and garden supplies dealers, up 6.8%: and food and beverage stores and its subset grocery stores, down 3% and 2.5%, respectively.

For the second quarter, combined retail and food services sales increased 31.5% from the same period a year ago.  Non-store retailers saw an 11.5% gain. Clothing and clothing accessories stores hit triple digits, up 162.9%.

Clint Engel

Clint Engel is a veteran home furnishings industry journalist and executive editor of Home News Now. Please share your feedback with him at clint@homenewsnow.com

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