WASHINGTON – Furniture and home furnishings store sales are still on the climb month-over-month, with June’s totals increasing 32.5% over May, but still lag behind year-over-year by 3.5%, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce report released today.
In total, furniture and home furnishings store sales earned a projected $9.58 billion in the month of June. This increase in sales over May’s adjusted $7.22 billion total, down from a previously reported $7.72 billion total for the month, can be attributed to several factors, including what many retailers are calling a “pent up consumer demand” for furniture and early July Fourth promotions.
Despite those factors, retailers are still facing problems with getting consumers back into stores because of safety concerns over COVID-19. Additionally, some stores are struggling with long lead times as manufacturers across the globe work to catch-up with the new demand following cancelled orders and weeks of factory shut downs in the face of COVID-19.
Regardless of furniture and home furnishings store sales lagging year-over-year, advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales came in to $524.3 billion in June, up 7.5% from the previous month’s adjusted total of 487.7 billion, and 1.1% over June 2019. Retail trade sales were also up overall, sitting 6.4% higher than May’s adjusted total at $476.9 billion and 5% higher than last June’s totals. For both, this is the first time a year-over-year increase has been observed since March.
Many categories reported YOY drops alongside the furniture and home furnishings store sector, which actually saw the smallest year-over-over reduction of the group. Reporting the highest losses was food services and drinking places, which saw a 26.3% drop year-over-year. Following behind that was clothing and clothing accessories stores, which dropped 23.3%. Gasoline stations saw a similar drop, losing 19.1%, followed by electronics and appliance stores, which lost 12.7% year-over-year. Department stores, a subset of general merchandise stores, also saw a year-over-year loss of 10.6%. Rounding out the list of losses was miscellaneous store retailers with a 7.7% loss and health and personal care stores, which fell 5.75%.
Taking the lead on sales increases over June 2019 was non-store retailers, which includes e-commerce and catalog businesses, up 23.5% and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores, which rose 20.6% from last year.
Month-over-month, clothing and clothing accessories saw the greatest increase, posting totals that were up 105.1% over May. Coming in second place above furniture retail sales’ 32.5% increase was electronics and appliance stores at 37.4%.
Dropping the most from May’s adjusted total was non-store retailers, which includes e-commerce and catalog businesses, down 2.4%. Following that was grocery stores, a subset of food a beverage stores, down 1.6%, and food and beverage stores, down 1.2%. June marks the first month-to-month drop experienced by non-store retailers in more than four months.
For the three-month period of April-June, furniture and home furnishings store sales decreased 29.7% from the same period last year. Overall retail and food services sales decreased 8.1%, while non-store retailer sales posted the biggest gain at 24.9%, well over the next largest gain of the 13.1% gain by food and beverage stores.