By Alan Wolf, YSN
Summer is traditionally a peak season for replacement sales of overtaxed appliances, and last month didn’t disappoint.
According to the latest monthly retail sales tally from the U.S. Census Bureau, August sell-through at appliance and electronics stores was up 18.1 percent from a year ago, to an estimated $8.3 billion.
Furniture and home furnishings stores were no slouches either in August; retail sales for that channel rose 15.6 percent year over year, to some $12.5 billion, the Census Bureau said.
By comparison, online-only and other direct-sale retailers only enjoyed a 7.5 percent bump from August 2020, and total retail sales, excluding gas stations, restaurants, car dealers and auto parts stores, were up 15.1 percent.
The pace somewhat slowed for appliances and CE from July, when sales soared 23.4 percent year over year, while furniture sell-through remained static at 15.6 percent that month.
Nevertheless, August’s sales gains came despite the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, waning government stimulus and workforce constraints, which “reflects the continued strength of the American consumer and the resilience of our nation’s retailers,” said Matthew Shay, president/CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association. “The retail industry continues to do what it does best — serve customers and support communities while keeping team members and associates safe and healthy.”
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz added that the consumer remains “rock solid” despite the host of macroeconomic headwinds, which bodes well for a strong holiday season and a record year for retail sales.
The trade group is currently projecting total full-year sales growth of as much as 13.5 percent, topping off at $4.6 trillion.