October furniture store sales jump nearly 12% YOY

WASHINGTON — U.S. furniture and home furnishings stores posted an 11.9% jump in October sales over the same month a year ago, as demand continued to fuel business despite supply chain bottlenecks and related inflation.

The sector posted estimated sales of $12.15 billion for the month, up from $10.86 billion for October last year, according to the latest Department of Commerce report. It was the 17th consecutive increase for the home furnishings sector, as the demand surge has yet to show any signs of abating, at least not based on the government’s survey.

Furniture store sales were up 0.4% from September’s estimate, which was revised down to $12.11 billion from the previous $12.30 billion estimate.

Combined retail and food services sales in October outpaced the furniture sector’s gain, increasing 16.3% from October a year ago to $638.2 billion and were up 1.7% from September’s revised sales figure. Retail trade sales alone increased 14.8% year-over-year and were up 1.9% from September. 

The sector posting the greatest year-over-year increase was gas stations, up 46.8%,  as prices at the pump have been on a steady rise. Other leading sectors included  those hit hardest by the pandemic initially, such as bars and restaurants, up 29.3%; and clothing and clothing accessories stores, up 25.8% YOY (though it was one of only two sectors posting a decrease from September, down 0.7%).

Department stores, a subcategory of general merchandise stores, saw an 27.6% YOY increase and electronics and appliance stores were up 18.4%, and nonstore retailers — primarily e-commerce retailers but also catalog companies — posted a 10.2% YOY gain and were up 4.0% from September.

For the three months ending in October, sales for furniture and home furnishings stores increased 12.3% from the same period last year. All retail and food services sales were up 15.4% and non-store retailers gained 9.1%.

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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