November Furniture Store Sales Fall 4.9 Per Cent

When compared to November 2021, furniture store sales in November 2022 slid 4.9%, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada. Home furnishings stores and electronics/appliance stores also saw their sales sag. However, top line performance was still higher than before the pandemic.

In the latest edition of its monthly Retail Trade Survey (RTS), the national bean counter pegged furniture store sales in November 2022 at an actual and preliminary $1.27 billion. While that’s better than the $1.19 billion rung-up in October 2022, its off 4.9% from the $1.33 billion for November 2021. However, it is worth noting that’s still higher than the $1.07 billion recorded in pre-pandemic November 2019.

Home Goods Online prefers to report actual sales, not those that are seasonally adjusted. The RTS covers sales by brick-and-mortar stores – or in Statistics Canada’s parlance, location-based retail – not those by pure e-commerce platforms. It covers sales by Leon’s, The Brick and Sleep Country but not those of Article, or Rove Concepts.

For the 11 months ending November 2022, furniture store sales totaled $13.1 billion, up 3.3% over the $12.6 billion for the same period last year. Most of this was driven by gains made during the first half of the year.

Sales by home furnishings stores – which includes flooring stores, lighting stores as well as those specializing in decorative accessories and accent furniture – were reported at a preliminary and actual $770.3 million in November 2022. This is 3.3% below the $796.8 million sold in November 2021 but higher than the $688.7 million sold in October 2022 and the $669.1 million in November 2019.

For the year-to-date, collective sales by home furnishings stores tallied $7.43 billion, up 7.3% from the $6.92 billion for the same period of 2021.

The third member of big ticket sector, electronics/appliance stores has actual and preliminary sales of  $1.78 billion in November 2022. In what has become a familiar pattern, this is off 1.9% from the $1.81 billion in November 2021 and up substantially from the $1.16 billion sold the prior month. It is also well above the $1.61 billion sold in the pre-pandemic November 2019.

For the year-to-day ending November 2022, electronics/appliance store sales totaled $13.5 billion, a slight 0.5% higher than the $13.4 billion for the same 11 months of 2021.

In its commentary, the Toronto-based J.C. Williams Group noted retail sectors that rely heavily on the housing market and discretionary spending – previously top performers – started to struggle in the latter months of the year. Like furniture and home furnishings, notable declines were also found in the building supply and garden equipment categories.

Led by gasoline stations, which had an uptick of 22.2%, Statistics Canada said all location-based retail saw sales climb 6.0% in November 2022 to $64.3 billion.

Excluding automotive, location-based retail registered an uptick of 3.8% at $41.1 billion.

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