Sales Momentum Continues for Furniture, Appliance and Tech Stores

But rate of growth slows from last year

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Despite Omicron, inflation and Ukraine, consumer spending on appliances, home furnishings and electronics remained strong last month, albeit with somewhat less fervor than last year.

According to the latest retail tallies from the U.S. Census Bureau, released this morning, January sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were up 7.2 percent month-over-month to $12.4 billion, seasonally adjusted, and up 1.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

On the appliance side, sellers of white-goods and consumer tech enjoyed a 1.9 percent bump in January from the previous month, to $7.3 billion seasonally adjusted, but saw sales slip 3 percent from the manic pace of January 2021.

Adjusted figures reflect seasonal variations and holiday and trading day differences, but do not factor in price changes, the Census Bureau said.

The National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association, lauded the sales figures — and consumer tenacity in the face of inflation, the omicron variant, and other headwinds.

“January’s numbers show that 2022 is starting very strong for consumers and retailers, especially on the heels of a record holiday season and record sales in 2021,” said NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay. “While the year ahead has challenges with inflationary pressures, labor shortages, COVID-19 impacts and uncertainty related to international tensions in Russia and China, today’s numbers show that despite these concerns, consumers are spending, and the economy remains in good shape.”

Overall retail sales, excluding car dealers, gas stations and restaurants, were up 3.8 percent seasonally adjusted from December, and up 13 percent year-over-year, the Commerce Department said.

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