Furniture and home furnishings store sales continued their upward trajectory in September, carrying on a year-over-year and month-over-month increase streak started in August.
Rising 4.6%, sales year-over-year reflected the confirmed reports that furniture buying boom that many retailers have been experiencing post-COVID-19 quarantine did not slow for the month. That same boom may explain the relatively flat 0.5% rise month-over-month as the industry is already experiencing a high number of sales.
Additionally, month-over-month, the slight increase in sales totals could be contributed to the presence of a prominent retail sales holiday, Labor Day, in the month, which, according to several retailers, went remarkably well despite COVID-19 and supply shortage complications.
In total, the category did a projected $10.41 billion in sales during the month. August’s adjusted $10.36 billion total is up from a previously reported $10.23 billion total for the month, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce report released today.
Overall U.S. retail and food services sales for September hit $549.3 billion, seeing a comparable increase of 1.9% from the previous month and 5.4% year-over-year. Retail trade sales were up 1.9% from the previous month and 5.4% above the same month last year for a total of $493.66 billion.
Looking at other categories month-over-month, clothing and clothing accessories stores saw the largest increase, jumping 11% despite falling more than that year-over-year. Department stores, a subset of general merchandise stores, rose 9.7% month-over-month (and fell nearly that much year-over-year) and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores rose 5.7%.
Taking the only hit month-over-month was electronics and appliance stores, down a marginal 1.6%.
Year-over-year, losses and gains were more extreme between categories. Non-store retailers stayed at the top, posting a gain of 23.8% in September. Following just behind in second and third place respectively for a second month in a row was building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, up 19.1%, and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores, up 14.4%.
On the other end of the year-over-year totals was food services and drinking places, down 14.4%, gasoline stations, falling 13.3%, and clothing and clothing accessories stores, down 12.5%. All three categories were among top year-over-year losses for August, too.
Looking at the three-month period of July-September, furniture and home furnishing store sales remained relatively flat, posting only a 4.1% gain but up 46.4% from the April-June 2020 period. This was on par with other categories, which posted several high gains from April-June 2020, topping out at a 91.9% increase with clothing and clothing accessories stores, and smaller year-over-year increases, which hit its max with a 23.4% increase in the non-store retailers sector.