Store sales climb in September capping solid third quarter
OTTAWA – The pandemic continued to fuel Canadian consumer demand to furnish and equip their homes as furniture, home furnishings and electronics/appliance store sales climbed for the third consecutive month in September, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
The federal bean counter pegged furniture stores sales at a preliminary and actual $1.19 billion for September 2020, up 1.7% over the $1.17 billion rung-up in August 2020 and a 15.2% leap from the $1.04 billion in September 2019.
September capped a strong third quarter for Canadian furniture stores which had collective sales of $3.56 billion, a 11.3% gain from the $3.20 billion for the same period last year.
The impact of the closures ordered by various provincial governments after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in mid-March can be seen in the year-to-date sales figures for the first nine months of 2020, which Statistics Canada pegged at $8.04 billion, down 8% from the $8.74 billion recorded to the same period last year.
Ed Strapagiel, the well-known Toronto-based retail consultant, said furniture store sales for the trailing 12 months ending September 2020 were $11.2 billion, down 5.2% from the corresponding 12 months ending September 2019.
Meanwhile, home furnishings stores – which sell everything from floor coverings to lamps, wall art, accent furniture and decorative accessories – had preliminary and actual sales of $609.5 million for the month of September, a 4.3% advance from August’s $584.2 million and up 5.5% from the $577.8 million rung-up in September 2019.
However, these merchants didn’t have as strong a performance as their furniture store colleagues. For the third quarter of the year, home furnishing store sales were $1.78 billion, down 1.1% from the $1.80 billion rung-up for the same three months of 2019.
For the year-to-date, home furnishings store sales fell 17.5% to $4.20 billion, compared to $5.09 billion for the comparable period last year.
However, for the trailing 12 months ending September 2020, these merchants saw a 5.5% uptick with sales ringing in at $6.2 billion.
Electronics and appliance stores also turned in a strong performance for both the month and the quarter. Statistics Canada said sales for September were a preliminary $1.32 billion, up 1.8% from the $1.30 billion in August and advancing 16.4% from the $1.14 billion in September 2019.
Sales for these retailers climbed in each of the three months making up the third quarter, totalling $3.79 billion – an 8.9% uptick from the $3.48 billion for the same period last year.
For the year-to-date, sales were up 4,8% at $9.57 billion, compared to $9.18 billion for the corresponding 2019 period.
Electronics/appliance store sales for the trailing 12 months ending September 2020 were $16.2 billion, an advance of 16.2%.