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Big ticket home store sales gain ground in July: StatsCan survey

 4 October 2021     Michael J. Knell 

OTTAWA – Brick-and-mortar furniture store and electronics/appliance store sales climbed for the third consecutive month in July, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada while home furnishings store sales gained ground for the second consecutive month.

The national bean counter’s Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS) pegged preliminary and actual (that is, not seasonally adjusted) furniture store sales for the month of July at $1.31 billion, up 12.1% from the prior month’s $1.18 billion and a 14.1% gain from the $1.16 billion rung-up in July 2020.

July represents a new monthly furniture store high for 2021 and may be a new record for the month for these merchants.

According to Statistics Canada’s Monthly Retail Trade Survey, sales by brick-and mortar furniture stores – such as this Dufresne Furniture & Appliance store in Winnipeg – saw their sales climb 12% for the month of July. For the year-to-date, sales are up 27% when compared to the same period last year.It should be noted the MRTS only tracks sales by brick-and-mortar stores such Leon’s, The Brick, Brault & Martineau, Sleep Country and Tepperman’s, to name a few.

Sales by the pure play e-commerce players – such as the Vancouver-based furniture specialist Article or the Edmonton-headquartered mattress purveyor GoodMorning.com – aren’t tracked by product specialty and are included in a separate retail sector category labelled ‘non-store retail, electronic shopping and mail order house’.

Furniture store sales for the year-to-date ending in July 2021 were totaled at $7.25 billion, a 27.2% leap from the $5.68 billion for the first seven months of 2020, a time when the majority of Canadian furniture stores were only just emerging from lockdowns imposed by provincial governments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many analysts have begun comparing 2021 performance to pre-pandemic 2019 as a way of contextualizing this year’s growth rates. July 2021 furniture store sales are 24.3% higher than the $1.06 billion reported in July 2019.

Furniture store sales for the trailing 12 months ending July 2021 were $13.2 billion, up 20.1% from the $11.0 billion for the comparable period ending July 2020.

Home furnishings stores – which sell everything from decorative accessories to floor coverings, residential lighting and occasional furniture – saw their sales pegged at a preliminary and actual $670.2 million for July. That’s 3.1% higher than the $649.8 million sold in June 2021 and 15.3% higher than the $581.7 million in July 2020.

It’s also an 11.0% gain over the $603.9 million sold in July 2019.

Sales for the year-to-date ending July 2021 were tallied at $4.09 billion, up 36.7% from the $2.99 billion for the comparable period.

Home furnishing store sales for the trailing 12 months ending July 2021 were $7.57 billion, compared to $6.16 billion for the comparable period – a gain of 22.9%.

Electronic/appliance store sales were $1.21 billion on a preliminary and actual basis in July, a 3.9% gain over the $1.16 billion rung-up in June but a statistically equal 0.5% edge over the $1.20 billion sold in July last year.

But July sales in 2021 were 13.1% higher than they were in July 2019 at $1.06 billion.

For the year-to-date, white and brown goods merchants had total sales of $7.95 billion, up 15.9% from the $6.86 billion for the same period last year.

For the trailing 12 months, electronics/appliance store sales tallied $15.85 billion, up 15.1% from $13.77 billion sold during the comparable prior period.

It should be noted furniture and home furnishings stores were among the best performers among the 16 or categories of location-based (brick-and-mortar) retail tracked by Statistics Canada in the MRTS.

The category with the highest growth rate for July at 21.5% year-over-year was gasoline stations, whose performance is driven mainly by the price at the pump. All location-based retail recorded year-over-year growth of 5.2% in July with combined sales of $60.0 billion.


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This HGO article was written by:
Michael J. Knell
Michael J. Knell

Michael is the publisher and editor of Home Goods Online. A seasoned business journalist, he has researched and written about the furniture, mattress and major appliance industries in both Canada and the United States for the past three decades.


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