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GLR mattress sales climb 5.3% in May PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Knell   

OTTAWA (30 July 2012) - Generally speaking, big ticket sales for the month of May were an improvement over April for the Group of Large Retailers (GLR), according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada. However, with the exception of home furnishings, year-over-year sales of furniture, mattresses and major appliances continue to sag albeit by varying degrees.

The national bean counter set the group's indoor furniture sales at a preliminary $198.7 million for May, up 1.4% over the revised tally of $195.9 million for April and marking the fourth consecutive month of growth for the category. However, May's tally was still well below $211.6 million sold in January 2012 and down 0.4% from the $199.4 million rung-up in May 2011.

For the year-to-date, GLR furniture sales were $971.1 million at the end of May, up ever-so-slightly (0.2%) from the $968.7 million for the same period of 2011.

Mattresses were the star category in May with preliminary sales of $63.0 million, a gain of 10.8% over the revised $56.8 million for April and 5.3% over the $59.8 million sold in May 2011. However, May sales were still below the $63.9 million sold to start off the year in January.

Year-to-date mattress sales were $296.1 million, a decline of 10.3% over the $330.1 million recorded for the first five months of 2011.

Major appliance sales climbed for the third consecutive month - and their highest monthly mark to date in 2012 - reaching a preliminary $166.2 million in May, 8.6% greater than the revised $153.1 million sold in April but essentially unchanged from the $166.3 million sold in May 2011.

Sales for the year-to-date ending May 30 were down slightly (0.9%) to $719.2 million, compared to $725.6 million for the comparable period.

GLR sales of televisions and audio/visual equipment fell to $178.9 million, albeit slightly from April's revised $180.3 million - the third consecutive month of declining sales. They're also 11.0% below the $201.0 million sold in May 2011.

This sub-set of consumer electronics saw its year-to-date sales fall 13.2% to $965.4 million, compared to $1.11 billion for the January to May stretch of 2011.

Home furnishings sales - which cover everything from floor covering to lamps and lighting, decorative accessories and wall art - totaled a preliminary $221.4 million, 5.2% more than the revised $210.1 million for April and a 1.1% gain over the $218.8 million rung-up in May 2011.

It should be noted that even though May represented the third consecutive month of growth in the category for the GLR, sales still have not returned to January's 2012 peak of $185.4 million.

Sales for the year-to-date ending May 30 were $1.06 billion, up 2.4% over the $1.03 billion for same period last year.

While the dollar volumes for the group are preliminary estimates, they are unadjusted for seasonality or other factors.

In addition to its monthly report on retail store sales and its quarterly report on retail sales by commodity, Statistics Canada also reports on sales by commodity for what is termed as its group of large retailers. These are companies that, for the most part, have stores across the country or are dominant players in their home province.

For the big ticket home category - including furniture, mattresses, home furnishings, appliances and consumer electronics - the group of large retailers includes: the Brick Group; the Sony Store; Leon's Furniture; InterTan Canada, operators of The Source; IKEA Canada; BMTC Group; and, Best Buy Canada, operators of Best Buy and Future Shop well as the Calgary-based, 27-unit CE specialist Visions Electronics, among others.

Several of this country's largest general merchandise store operators with active big ticket home goods sales are also included. Among these are: Hudson's Bay Company (HBC); Sears Canada; Wal-Mart Canada; and, Canadian Tire Corp., among others.

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This October 30, the Furniture Bank will hold its annual Chair Affair Gala at the International Centre, home of the Canadian Furniture Show. Seen here are a selection of refurbished chairs created for the event by designers such as Jane Lockhart and Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman. The organisation aids low-income or recovering clients who are leaving homelessness, escaping an abusive domestic situation, are new to the country or are settling as refugees furnish what might otherwise be an empty home. Click here to read Ashley Newport’s report.



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