Bedding unit shipments decline 4% in July, says ISPA
But rising average price pushes sales in dollars up 6%
David Perry -- Furniture Today, September 1, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Unit shipments of mattresses and foundations in July were down 4.5% from the same month of 2010, the industry's worst performance of the year.
But, in a development that reflects strength at the high-end of the bedding market, the dollar value of bedding shipments jumped 6% in July, according to the monthly Bedding Barometer report issued by the International Sleep Products Assn.
For the first seven months of the year, unit sales were up 1.1% while the dollar value of shipments rose 7%, ISPA said.
The July report showed a yawning gap of 10.5 percentage points between the unit and dollar performance, the biggest such gap in the year, according to the ISPA reports.
Growth in the dollar figures reflects price increases and a shift to better bedding, industry observers say.
ISPA notes that its monthly reports reflect the performance of 18 bedding producers, including several of the industry's largest players, who together account for 65% of total bedding units shipped and 74% of the dollar value of bedding shipments. But the bedding industry's trade association also cautions that the performance of the companies in the sample may not reflect overall industry performance.
The strong growth in the dollar value of bedding shipments in July pushed the industry's average unit price up 11% that month, to $210.09. For the first seven months of the year, the average unit price was up 5.9%, to $202.28.
The July unit decline was only the second monthly unit decline ISPA has reported this year. Units also were down in February, by 3%, but the dollar value of bedding shipments that month was up 4.9%.