Year-over-year furniture store sales fell 6.3% in July

Sales also lagged from the previous month as consumers shift spending to other areas

WASHINGTON — Furniture store sales fell 6.3% in July as consumers continued to shift spending to other areas, including e-commerce and dining out, according to monthly retail sales figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday. They also fell 1.8% from the previous month, one of the only sectors to face a month-to-month decline.

For the month, furniture store sales totaled just over $11 billion, compared to $11.8 billion in July 2022 and $11.2 billion in June this year.

Overall retail sales totaled $696.4 billion, compared to $674.9 billion in July 2022, a 3.2% increase. Sales rose .7% from the $691.3 billion reported in June.

The other sectors with a month-over-month decline were electronics and appliance stores, down 1.3%, and motor vehicle and parts dealers and miscellaneous store retailers, each down .3%.

Furniture was one of the worst performing sectors, trailing only behind gasoline sales, which declined 20.8% to $52.3 billion in July from $66.1 billion in July 2022.

Other sectors that saw a decrease from last year’s sales were building materials and garden equipment and supplies dealers, which saw sales fall to $41.6 billion, from $43.1 billion, a 3.3% decrease, and electronics and appliance stores which saw sales decline to $7.7 billion, from $7.9 billion, a 3.1% decrease.

The best performing sector was restaurants and bars, which saw sales rise to $91.1 billion, from $81.5 billion in July 2022, an 11.9% increase, and non-store retailers, including e-commerce and catalogs, which saw sales rise to $117.4 billion, from $106.5 billion, a 10.3% increase.

This was followed by health and personal care stores up 8.1% (to $36.2 billion, from $33.5 billion), motor vehicle and parts dealers, up 7.6% (to $133.5 billion, from $124.1 billion) and food and beverage stores, up 2.5% (to $82.2 billion, from $80.1 billion) and general merchandise stores, including department stores and wholesale clubs, also up 2.5% (to $73.1 billion, from $71.3 billion). 

Also posting an increase were miscellaneous store retailers, including specialized stores such as pet supply stores, medical supply stores and religious supply stores, which posted a 2.4% gain (to $15.5 billion, from $15.1 billion in July 2022), clothing and clothing accessories stores, which posted a 2.2% increase (to $25.9 billion from $25.4 billion)  and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and bookstores, where sales were up 1% (to $8.7 billion, from $8.6 billion in July 2022).

On a positive note, July furniture store sales were still above pre-pandemic levels of $10.1 billion in 2019 and were also above sales of $10.17 billion in July 2020, right after stores reopened early in the pandemic.

However, the overall July increases also show what areas in the retail segment are representing the most competition for furniture stores, namely restaurants and bars and e-commerce sales, with a resurgence also in automotive and automotive parts dealers.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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