September furniture store sales continue upward momentum

WASHINGTON — September sales at U.S. furniture and home furnishings stores increased 13.4% over the same month last year as consumer demand continued to hold despite the industry’s many supply chain problems.

The sector posted estimated sales of $12.30 billion for the month, up from $10.84 billion for September last year, according to the latest Department of Commerce report. The gain was the 16th consecutive increase for the home furnishings sector, and marked another month of solid demand, lapping the post-lockdown demand surge that began in early summer 2020.

Furniture store sales were up 0.2% from the estimate for August, which was revised down to $12.27 billion. 

Combined retail and food services sales in September increased 13.9% from September a year ago to $625.4 billion and were up 0.7% from August. Retail trade sales alone increased 12.2% year-over-year and were up 0.8% from July. 

Top sector performers continued to be those rocked hardest by the Covid pandemic, led by gas stations, up 38.2% year over year; bars and restaurants, up 29.5%; and clothing and clothing accessories stores, up 22.4%.

Department stores, a subcategory of general merchandise stores, saw an 18.9% YOY increase and electronics and appliance stores were up 17.2% YOY, though it was one of the few sectors down from the previous month with a 0.9% decrease.

Nonstore retailers — primarily e-commerce retailers but also catalog companies — posted a 10.5% YOY gain and were up 0.6% from August..

For the third quarter ending in September sales for furniture and home furnishings stores increased 14.5% from the same period last year. All retail and food services sales were up 14.9% and non-store retailers gained 7.5%.

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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