Retail stays steady in April; Furniture? Not so much

WASHINGTON — The furniture and home furnishings category slumped hardest year-over-year in April among categories measured in the Department of Commerce’s advance monthly estimates.

For the month, furniture sales totaled an adjusted $10.67 billion, down 8.4% compared with $11.65 billion in April 2023 and down half a point vs. $10.72 billion in March.

Through the first four months of 2024, the DOC places furniture and home furnishings at $41.71 billion, off 2023’s pace by 9.0%.

Though the furniture category’s sag continues, the total retail picture was a little better. The full sector’s sales totaled an estimated adjusted $705.18 billion, up 3% vs. $684.4 billion in April 2023 and essentially flat compared with $705.1 billion a month ago.

Other categories that fell in April included sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and bookstores (down 4.7% YOY); building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (down 1.0%) and health and personal care stores (down 0.3%).

The DOC’s advance estimates are based on a sub-sample of the U.S. Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,500 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of more than 3 million retail and food services firms.

See also:

  • Where are retailers’ pain points? TD Bank survey offers insights
  • New home sales climb in March, but it’s because existing homes aren’t selling

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