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E-comm grew 14.2% in 2015

 31 July 2017     Michael J. Knell 

OTTAWA – E-commerce sales by furniture and home furnishings stores grew 14.2% in 2015, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada’s Annual Retail Survey. However, at $261.5 million that remains a relatively insignificant 1.4% of the $18.1 billion these merchants sold that year, the latest for which the federal agency has published figures.

It should be noted Statistics Canada does not publish separate e-commerce figures for furniture stores and home furnishings stores as it does in many of its other reports including the monthly Retail Trade.

It should be noted e-commerce sales for furniture and home furnishings stores have been steadily increasing over the years between 2011 – the first year for which Statistics Canada has figures – and 2015. In 2011, e-commerce sales were a paltry $98.3 million. E-commerce has also been growing as a percentage of sales in each of these from 0.6% in 2011 to 1.4% in 2015.

Total furniture store sales were $10.7 billion in 2015, 6.1% higher than the previous year.

However, on the e-commerce front, electronics and appliance stores have been outperforming furniture and home furnishing stores. In 2015, e-commerce sales for these merchants totalled $561.1 million which was only a 1.1% uptick over the prior year’s $555.7 million. However, it accounted for 3.4% of all retail sales by these merchants, which totalled $16.4 billion in 2015.

It should be noted the $561.1 million for e-commerce sales includes all product categories sold by these merchants – from major appliances to mobile phones to video games and everything in between.

E-commerce is a real growth area for electronics and appliance stores, particularly when it’s considered that total retail sales for merchants in this category actually fell 0.8% for the year in 2015 and has been inconsistent in the months that followed. Most industry insiders note deflation has been a reach factor impacting profitability for these retailers.

Electronic and appliance stores are also performing retail as a whole when it comes to selling online.

Total retail sales by brick and mortar stores were $575.4 billion in 2015, up 1.5% over the prior year. E-commerce sales were $11.6 billion that year – up 13.4% over the prior year. It was also 2.0% of all sales by brick and mortar stores in 2015, up from 1.8% the prior year.

This particular study only includes brick and mortar stores and their e-commerce sales in 2015. It does not include sales by ‘pure play’ e-commerce merchants such as Wayfair, Amazon, Casper and others.

Most of the major players on the Canadian furniture retailing scene have incorporated some type of e-commerce into their web platforms but the results of these efforts aren’t known. Perhaps the most successful e-comm furniture player among tradition brick and mortar stores is IKEA Canada, which has previously indicated its web site generates over $100 million in revenue each year.

LVM Feb 2018
Phoenix AMD
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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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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