Store sales jump in June
OTTAWA – Furniture, home furnishings and electronics/appliance store sales for the month of June were a great improvement over those in the prior month, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada. Comparative figures for the year-to-date were also down from the first half of 2019.
The national bean counter reported preliminary and actual (not seasonally adjusted) furniture store sales were $1.10 billion for June 2020, up 67.9% from the revised $657.8 million in May. They were also up 8.9% from the $1.01 billion sold in June 2019.
Statistics Canada defines a furniture store as any brick and mortar retail establishment that generates 51% or more of its annual revenue from the sale of furniture (including mattresses). In this survey, furniture store sales include all products and services sold to Canadian consumers during that period whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store. Pure play e-commerce or direct-to-consumer (DTC) merchants, such as Article, Rove Concepts, Endy or Gotta Sleep, are not including in this survey.
Furniture store sales for the first half of 2020 were pegged at $4.53 billion, down 18.2% from $5.54 billion for the same period last year.
According to the Toronto-based retail consultant Ed Strapagiel, furniture store sales for the trailing 12 months ending June 2020 were $10.8 billion – down 8.5% from the $11.8 billion for the comparable period ending June 2019.
The agency pegged preliminary June sales for home furnishings stores – which sell everything from lamps and lighting to floor covering, wall art and other decorative accessories – at $531.2 million, up 64.7% from the $322.4 million rung-up in May but down 8.1% from the $577.7 million sold in the same month last year.
Sales for the year-to-date were set at $2.44 billion, off 25.7% from the prior year’s $3.29 billion.
For the trailing 12 months, home furnishing stores had sales of $6.2 billion – down 12.7% from the $7.1 billion for the comparable period.
Meanwhile, electronics/appliance stores had preliminary and actual sales of $1.12 billion for the month of June – up 14.7% from the revised $976.3 million for May and an 8.4% advance from the $1.03 billion for June 2019.
For the first half, these merchants rang-up sales of $5.72 billion, a slight 0.7% slip from the $5.76 billion sold last year.
Most analysts attributed the gains made by location-based retail to a number of factors including income support programs introduced by the federal government such as the CERB (the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit) as well as high levels of pent-up demand that began to be satisfied once business were allowed to re-open in stages at the end of May in most regions of the country.