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GLR furniture, mattress sales up

 28 March 2017     Michael J. Knell 

OTTAWA – The Group of Large Retailers (GLR) saw their sales of mattresses and furniture grew nicely in 2016 while sales of major appliances and home furnishings were essentially flat. In a not entirely unexpected development, sales of televisions and audio-visual equipment fell slightly, according to data published by Statistics Canada.

The GLR is composed of about 80 of the largest brick and mortar retailers in Canada – either by sales volume or store count – only about a dozen of which are active purveyors of furniture, mattresses, major appliances, televisions and home furnishings – which covers everything from floor covering to lamps and lighting, decorative accessories and wall art.

For the big ticket home category the group includes: the Brick; Leon’s Furniture; The Source; IKEA Canada; BMTC Group; and, Best Buy Canada as well as the Calgary-based, 27-unit CE specialist Visions Electronics, among others.

Several of this country’s largest general merchandise store operators are also included. Among these are: Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC); Sears Canada; Costco Canada; Wal-Mart Canada; and, Canadian Tire Corp.

The group had furniture sales in 2016 of $2.82 billion, 4% higher than the $2.71 billion sold in the prior year. Sales for this category grew for the sixth consecutive year. The GLR also accounts for about 30% of all indoor furniture sold in the country.

Meanwhile, mattress sales made gains for the second consecutive year at $866.3 million, up 3.3% from the $838.8 million rung-up 2015. Their overall share of the mattress market stands at approximately 45%, which isn’t surprising as several members of the GLR are major players in the category – Sears, The Brick, Costco and IKEA being the most immediate examples.

While sales of major appliances were essentially flat in 2016 at $1.85 billion – compared to $1.86 billion for the prior year. However, the GLR has been losing ground in this category for the past several years and, in fact, have been trending downwards since 2010 when they were $2.11 billion. However, they still account for 40% of all white goods sales in this country.

Another category where the group has been losing ground is in televisions and audio-visual equipment where sales have fallen in each of the past eight years. Much of the decline has been attributed to deflation. Sales in 2016 were $2.49 billion, down 3.3% from the $2.58 billion in 2015. What’s not surprising is the GLR’s market share for this category is still a dominant 74%.

The sales of home furnishings were also essentially flat last year at $3.02 billion, compared to $3.01 billion for the prior year. What’s interesting here is over the past decade, sales have been inconsistent from one year to the next, but haven’t strayed too far from the $3.0 billion mark. The group’s overall market share for this category remains at about 30%.

Total commodity sales for the Group of Retailers were $127.8 billion in 2016, advancing 1.3% from the $126.1 billion recorded in 2015.

Total sales of big ticket home goods – furniture, mattresses, major appliances, televisions and home furnishings – was $11.05 billion in 2016, essentially unchanged from the prior year. Big ticket home also accounted for 8.6% of all GLR sales last year. This ‘share of wallet’ hasn’t changed much over the past few years.


Sealy Canada
Cocoon by Sealy
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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