Home Fashions Lags as Retail Grows
Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, June 18, 2007
With consumers flocking to the malls, and buying new cars and filling up the tank to get there, U.S. retail sales unexpectedly climbed by 1.4% in May to their highest level in 15 months, to a seasonally adjusted $377.9 billion, the Commerce Department reported.
Measured on a year-over-year basis, sales climbed higher by 5.0% from their level of May 2006.
The strongest retail channel during May was gas stations, where sales surged ahead by 3.8% forced up by higher prices at the pump. Car sales did their part as well, rising by 1.8% and more than making up for a 0.5% dip the month before.
Underlining the breadth and strength of May sales, not a single retail channel lost ground during May, the first time in recent memory that all retail formats made gains.
Seasonal categories were predictably strong, with do-it-yourselfers driving a 2.1% increase at building material and garden supply outlets. Results were mixed at other home-related formats. Electronics and appliance sales grew 1.3%, but furniture and home furnishings stores grew at a modest 0.3% pace.
Consumers stocked up on shorts and t-shirts, or dressed up for graduation, pushing sales at clothing and accessory stores up by 2.7%, making that channel the second-strongest performer during May.
Retail Sales in May
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce
|Bldg. mat./garden supplies||2.1|
|Sport. goods, books, music||1.8|
|Electronics & appliances||1.3|
|Health & personal care||0.8|
|Restaurants & bars||0.7|
|Furn. & home furn. stores||0.3|
|None. Every channel gained in May.|
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