September Sales Soften For CE/Appliance Dealers: Feds

By YSN Staff

Sales slipped 1.9 percent in September for sellers of consumer electronics and appliances, compared to the same month last year.

According to the latest monthly retail sales estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, tech and appliance specialty stores enjoyed $8.2 billion in sell-through in September. The take was flat from August, when the channel experienced a steeper year-over-year decline of 2.9 percent.

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By comparison, sales at furniture and home furnishings stores edged up 1.1 percent and online and other direct-to-consumer sellers were ahead 13 percent, while sales at department stores fell 6.1 percent.

Total retail sales, excluding restaurants, gas stations and automotive, rose 4 percent in September.

According to Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist for the National Retail Federation (NRF), an industry trade group, September sales may be been tempered by increased fears over U.S.-China tensions. “September is a tricky month to measure because of seasonal factors like the end of summer and back-to-school spending,” he said.

Nonetheless, “While uncertainty around trade policy and other issues has dampened consumer sentiment recently, consumer still have a lot going for them as evidenced by longer-term trends and factors like the tight labor market,” he observed.

Census Bureau sales estimates are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading day differences but not for price changes, the agency said.