• Clint Engel

Furniture store sales beat broader retail in May

4.4% increase is on top of a revised 4.5% increase in April

WASHINGTON — May sales for furniture and home furnishings retailers increased 4.4% from the same month last year, topping the 4.0% gain for the broad retail sector.

Furniture and home furnishings store sales totaled an estimated $9.55 billion in May, up from a revised $9.15 billion in May a year ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported. Sales were up 0.4% from the month before, based on an April sales estimate that was revised up to $9.51 billion.

From March through May, home furnishings store sales were up 4.8% from the same period last year. The April-to-April gain was revised up to 4.5%.

Total U.S. retail and food services sales increased 3.8% in May from May last year to $473.81 billion and were off 0.3%, from a preliminary April sales estimate. Retail sales alone increased 4.0% from a year ago, fueled by double-digit gains for non-store retailers and building material, garden and supplies stores. Overall retail sales were off 0.3% from April.

Non-store retailers — primarily e-commerce and catalog businesses — posted a 10.2% sales increase over May a year ago and were up 0.8% from revised April sales. Building material and garden and supplies store saw the best increase of any sub-sector — up 10.8% from May a year ago but were flat with April.

Department stores, a sub-category of general merchandise stores, again were in negative territory and one of the worst performers, down 3.7% from May 2016 and down 1.0% from April. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores reported the weakest year-over-year results, with May sales down 4.7% from a year ago and off 0.6% from April.

Electronics and appliance store were the only other sector down from a year ago, with sales off 1.8% from May 2016 and down 2.8% from April.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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