Furniture Store Sales Fall in October: StatsCan

After climbing steadily on a month-over-month basis in each of the previous three months, furniture store sales retreated in October 2022, according to the latest figures published by Statistics Canada. While sales were also down from October 2021, they were still higher than the pre-pandemic October 2019. Home furnishings and electronics/appliance stores turned in similar performances as the fourth quarter began.

In its Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS), the national bean counter said actual and preliminary furniture store sales for the month of October 2022 were $1.18 billion. This was 7.5% lower than the $1.28 billion recorded for both September 2022 and October 2021. However, it was 8.6% higher than the $999.2 million rung-up in October 2019, some five months before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.

This brought furniture store sales for the first ten months of 2022 to $11.8 billion, up 4.2% from the $11.3 billion rung-up for the comparable period of 2021.

In its companion Monthly Retail Commodity Survey (MRCS), Statistics Canada reported consumer purchases of indoor furniture – including upholstery, case goods and children/infant furniture – was estimated at $702.6 million. Furniture stores traditionally account for 90% of indoor store sales in this country. While this is down 14.9% from the record-setting $807.3 million purchased in October 2021, it’s 10.8% higher than the $633.9 million consumers bought in October 2019.

Meanwhile, consumer spending on mattresses was preliminarily set at $227.0 million in October 2022, which is below those of both September 2022 ($252.7 million) and October 2021 ($248.3 million), but it’s also higher than the $170.4 million for the pre-pandemic October 2019.

It should be noted the MRTS measures sales by brick-and-mortar – or in its parlance, location-based – stores while the commodity survey measures consumer purchases regardless of where she actually buys the product.

The MRTS also set actual and preliminary sales for home furnishings stores at $686.7 million for October 2022, down 3.1% from September and off 5.8% from October 2021. However, sales were up 15.3% from the pre-pandemic $595.8 million for October 2019.

Home furnishings stores sell everything from floor coverings to lamps and lighting as well as decorative accessories and similar categories. Retailers in this segment include big box stores such as Home Sense and carpet specialist End of the Roll.

Home furnishing store sales for the 2022 year-to-date totaled $6.65 billion, up 8.7% from $6.12 billion for the first ten months of 2021.

Canadian consumer purchases of decorative accessories were pegged at $451.1 million for the month of October – up 50.1% from September’s $300.5 million. That’s 4.0% less than the $470.1 million consumers purchased in October 2021. However, that’s 27.9% more than the $347.6 million purchased in October 2019.

Electronics/appliance stores had actual and preliminary sales of $1.16 billion in October 2022, down 7.1% from the previous month’s $1.25 billion and down 5.1% from the $1.22 billion rung-up in October 2021. In a familiar pattern, its also up 5.1% from the $1.11 billion sold in October 2019.

For the year-to-date, these merchants had total sales of $11.7 billion, down 0.9% from the $11.6 billion recorded for the same period last year.

Consumer purchases of major appliances were tagged at a preliminary $573.6 million in October 2022, down 1.8% from the $584.2 million sold the previous month. That’s also down 10.3% from the $639.7 million bought in October 2021 but up 12.0% from the $511.9 million they purchased in October 2019.

Home Goods Online prefers to report both retail and commodity sales in actual dollars, not on a seasonally adjusted basis.

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