• Clint Engel

July furniture store sales jump 5.6%

WASHINGTON — Furniture and home furnishings stores outperformed the broader retail sector with a 5.6% jump in sales over the same month last year, according to the latest government report.

Estimated furniture and home furnishings store sales totaled $9.68 billion in July, up from a revised $9.16 billion in July a year ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today. Sales were up 0.4% from the month before — based on a June sales estimate that was revised up to $9.64 billion.

From May through July, home furnishings store sales saw a 4.9% increase from the same three months last year at a 1.7% increase from February through April of this year.

Total U.S. retail and food services sales increased 4.2% in July from the same month last year to $478.9 billion and increased 0.6% from June. Retail sales alone increased 4.3% from a year ago, with the largest gain again coming from non-store retailers — primarily by e-commerce and catalog businesses with sales up 11.5% from July 2016.

Overall retail sales increase 0.6% from June.

Department stores, a sub-category of general merchandise stores, and sporting goods, hobby, books and music stores repeated as the only two categories in negative territory. Department store sales were down 1.3% from July a year ago but gained 1% over June of this year.

Other sectors showing particularly strong growth in addition to non-store retailers and home furnishings stores included building material and garden and supplies stores (up 8.3% from July a year ago) and automobile dealers (up 6.1%), the report said.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

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