Sales dipped from June but but continued to outpace the overall retail sector
WASHINGTON — Furniture and home furnishings stores continued their winning ways in July, posting a 15.6% increase over the same month last year despite anniversarying last year’s crush of post-lockdown demand.
Sales for the home furnishings sector jumped to $11.95 billion, up from $10.34 billion in July 2020, according to this morning’s report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Sales, however, dipped 0.6% from June sales, which were revised up to $12.02 billion from the previously estimated $11.83 billion. In both cases — year-over-year and monthly comparisons — results for the home furnishings sector outpaced overall retail sales.
In addition, the YOY gain marked the 14th consecutive increase for the industry.
Combined retail and food services sales in July increased 15.8% from July a year ago to $617.7 billion and dipped 1.1% from from the previous month. Retail trade sales alone increased 13.3% year-over-year and were down 1.5% from June. The overall YOY gain was fairly evenly distributed across most sectors. However, clothing and clothing accessories stores, gas stations and restaurants and bars — all sectors hard hit by the pandemic — continued to post better rebounds, up 43.4%, 37.5% and 38.4%, respectively.
The electronics and appliance stores segment and department stores (a subset of generally merchandise stores) also experienced better than average YOY gains — up 23.6% and 24.3%, respectively.
Nonstore retailers — primarily e-commerce retailers but also catalog companies — posted a 5.9% YOY gain and were down 3.1% from June. E-commerce was one of only a handful of sectors that did not see double-digit YOY gains. The others were food and beverage stores and their grocery stores subset (up 2.3% and 2.2%); building material and garden supplies dealers (up 7.5%); and health and personal care stores (up 9.2%).
For a three month period ending in July, furniture and home furnishings store sales increased 30.5% compared to the same period last year, and outpaced the 20.6% increase for all retail and food services and the 8.6% gain for non-store retailers.