Furniture stores continue rally with 15.6% August sales gain

WASHINGTON — Sales at U.S. furniture and home furnishings stores jumped 15.6% in August compared to the same month last year as the industry’s rebound continued despite all of its supply chain problems.

The sector posted estimated sales of $12.50 billion for the month, up from $10.81 billion for the same month last year, according to the Department of Commerce report released this morning. The gain marked the 15th consecutive YOY increase for the home furnishings sector, which appears to have seen little slowdown in post-lockdown demand. 

Furniture store sales were up 3.7% from the estimate for July, which was revised up to $12.05 billion. Both year-over-year and August-vs.-July results outpaced the combined increases for all sectors followed by the DOC.

Combined retail and food services sales in August increased 15.1% from August a year ago to $618.7 billion and were up 0.7% from July. Retail trade sales alone increased 13.1% year-over-year and were up 0.8% from July. Outside of furniture, many of the sectors hardest hit by the Covid pandemic continued to rally, including clothing and clothing accessories stores, which posted the largest YOY gain of any sector at 38.8%, gas stations, up 35.7%, and restaurants and bars, up 31.9%.

Department stores, a subcategory of general merchandise stores , also continued to rebound, posting a 28.6% YOY increase. Electronics and appliance stores saw a 18.1% YOY gain but were down 3.1% from July. 

Nonstore retailers — primarily e-commerce retailers but also catalog companies — posted a 7.5% YOY gain and were up 5.3% from July.

For a three-month period through August, sales for furniture and home furnishings stores increased 17.2% from the same three months last year. Both periods were post-lockdown. All retail and food services sales were up 16.3% and non-store retailers gained 7.8%.

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

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