Washington — Furniture and home furnishings sales in August tumbled year-over-year and month-to-month, according to advance monthly estimates from the Department of Commerce.

The month’s adjusted sales of $11.783 billion was down 1.6% from August 2021’s $11.971 billion and down 1.3% from July’s $11.936 billion. And while many furniture and home furnishings retailers told HTT sister publication Furniture Today that their Labor Day weekend sales were an excellent way to start September, many reported August as uneven.

The overall retail picture climbed in August, totaling $683.291 billion, which was a healthy 9.1% better than August 2021’s $626.026 billion. The growth was less evident month-to-month, only up 0.3% vs. July’s $681.300 billion.

Among categories measured by the DOC, only gas stations performed worse than furniture and home furnishings, down 4.2% month-to-month, which could likely be attributed to falling prices at the pump. Non-store retailers (down 0.7%) and health and personal care stores (down 0.6%) were the only other categories with diminished sales.

Notable gainers in August included motor vehicle and parts dealers (up 2.8%), miscellaneous store retailers (1.6%), and building material, garden equipment and supplies dealers and food services and drinking places, both of which were up 1.1%.

The DOC’s advance estimates are based on a sub-sample of the U.S. Census Bureau’s full retail and food services sample. A stratified random sampling method is used to select approximately 5,500 retail and food services firms whose sales are then weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of more than 3 million retail and food services firms.

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Thomas Lester is Retail Editor for Furniture Today and Digital/Managing Editor for Home Accents Today. A graduate of Emory & Henry College’s Mass Communications program, Lester spent a dozen years working for newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina covering an array of subjects, ranging from community news, government, education, ACC sports, professional baseball and more before joining Furniture Today in 2013. Reach out to me with your story ideas, tips and more at [email protected].

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