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Factoids

Factoids offer brief snapshots of current topics pertinent to the Furniture industry based on our on-going research. Increase your grasp of current trends, consumer attitudes, and shifts within the industry through solid statistics and concise insight.

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Factoids

Industry Sales by Quarter 2012 Q3 to 2019 Q3 Bedding Industry

Preliminary estimates of Bedding growth in the third quarter of this year indicate sales have rebounded somewhat from the poor second quarter that saw declining imports and instability at retail. Sales estimates of $4.5 billion in 2019 Q3 put growth at 3% over to the same quarter last year. Unsettled trade wars further contribute to industry uncertainty.

Bedding sales have struggled the last couple of years with slow growth again in 2019. However, initial estimates indicate the second quarter of this year grew 3% over the same quarter 3 in 2018. 

2019 Bedding sales year-to-date totaled $4.5 billion, up 0.1% over the same three quarters last year. 

Source:  Impact Consulting Services, Inc. industry model 
All years have been revised based on comprehensive revisions by the Department of Commerce to Personal Consumption Expenditures

Industry Sales by Quarter 2012 Q3 to 2019 Q3 Furniture & Bedding

After a dip in first quarter furniture and bedding sales this year, the furniture industry has picked up momentum in the third quarter. Combined Furniture and Bedding sales grew 5.7% in the third quarter versus the same quarter in 2018. Compared to the previous quarter, 2019 Q2, third quarter sales were up 3% totaling $30.57 billion.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) in the third quarter increased 6.2% versus the same quarter 3 in 2018 reaching $26.07 billion. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, Furniture sales were up only 0.4%.

After Bedding imports fell dramatically in the second quarter due to ongoing instability in international trade with China, initial estimates indicate Bedding sales in 2019 Q3 increased 3% compared to 2018 Q3 which would mean double-digit growth over a poor second quarter of this year. As final numbers become available, a clearer picture will emerge.

As shown in graphic, quarter over quarter growth slowed the end of last year and the first half of this year, but the furniture industry has picked up some steam, with the third quarter growth now up 5.7%.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) increased 6.2% in 2019 Q3 versus the same quarter in 2018 with sales of $26.07 billion.

Preliminary estimates indicated Bedding has rebounded somewhat from declining imports during the second quarter of 2019 – up 3% over 2018 Q3 at $4.5 billion, which would mean double-digit growth over the second quarter of this year.  As additional data becomes available, this growth will be updated.

Industry sales for 2019 Q3 YTD totaled $87.97, an increase of 4.3% over the same period last year. Furniture sales, excluding Bedding, totaled $75.47 billion year-to-date, up 5%, and Bedding totaled $12.49 billion – up 0.1% over the same three quarters last year.

Source:  Impact Consulting Services, Inc. Furniturecore.com industry model
Note: All years have been revised based on comprehensive revisions by the Department of Commerce to Personal Consumption Expenditures

Generation Z – The iGeneration Population, Age, and Ethnicity

During the next five years, over 20 million consumers tagged as Generation Z will pour into young-adult status with the leading edge surpassing the age of 21 this year, graduating from college and entering the workforce. This is the first factoid in a series of four factoids detailing the demographics and shopping preferences of the newest adult generation.

Researchers have been non-committal in defining the actual end of the Millennials and the beginning of Generation Z (also being called the iGeneration or iGen), but recently the generational research giant Pew Research Center has defined this cohort as being born between 1997 and 2012, a period of 16 years, matching the year span of Millennials and Gen Xers. Based on current estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Generation Z is currently about 8% smaller than Millennials and roughly 2% larger than the older Gen Xers, who are predominantly their parents. The impact of future immigration will swell their ranks further.

Ethnicity 

Generation Z is the most ethnically diverse of all the generations preceding it. 48% of 6 to 21-year-olds in 2018 (Generation Z) are non-white, significantly more compared to 39% of Millennials in 2002, 30% of Gen Xers in 1986 and 18% of Early Boomers in 1968. As immigration continues to impact Gen Z, they are projected to become even more ethnically diverse falling below 50% white in the future. Because of this diverseness, early indications are that they are less judgmental and more accepting of cultural differences.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Statistics; “Uniquely Gen Z,” IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV)

Furniture Industry Wages Transportation and Delivery

Wages across the U.S. job market have been slow to grow post-recession, despite a healthy economy and the lowest unemployment rates in decades and the furniture industry is no exception. The steady increase of furniture and home furnishings sales over the last 10 years has been slower to hit employees working in the stores, but in recent years many occupations have finally started to see an upturn in wage growth.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March 2019 release of “Occupational Employment Statistics,” this is the final factoid in a series of five factoids detailing employee wages in furniture stores and home furnishings stores across the variety of occupations.

Transportation and Delivery

Among transportation and delivery occupations in furniture and home furnishings stores, installation, maintenance, and repair workers are among the highest paid non-managerial positions, earning a median hourly wage of $17.83 in furniture stores and $18.59 in home furnishings stores. Although light truck or delivery services and drivers earn considerably less at $13.10 and $15.47 respectively, their wages have increased by 17.5 percent and 21 percent since 2012.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment Statistics,” released March 29, 2019

Furniture Industry Wages: Office and Administrative Support Occupations

Wages across the U.S. job market have been slow to grow post-recession, despite a healthy economy and the lowest unemployment rates in decades and the furniture industry is no exception. The steady increase of furniture and home furnishings sales over the last 10 years has been slower to hit employees working in the stores, but in recent years many occupations have finally started to see an upturn in wage growth.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March 2019 release of “Occupational Employment Statistics,” this is the fourth factoid in a series of five factoids detailing employee wages in furniture stores and home furnishings stores across the variety of occupations.

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

By far, executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants are the highest paid among office and admin support jobs – earning a median hourly rate of $29.20 in furniture stores and $26.68 in home furnishings stores. The executive admin jobs also had the largest increases from 2012 to 2018 – jumping 32.5 percent in furniture stores and 29.8 percent in home furnishings stores.

Lowest paid among these positions are customer service reps, receptionists and information clerks, and stock clerks and order fillers – all earning less than a $14 median hourly wage.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment Statistics,” released March 29, 2019 

Furniture Industry Wages Sales and Related Occupations

Wages across the U.S. job market have been slow to grow post-recession, despite a healthy economy and the lowest unemployment rates in decades and the furniture industry is no exception. The steady increase of furniture and home furnishings sales over the last 10 years has been slower to hit employees working in the stores, but in recent years many occupations have finally started to see an upturn in wage growth.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March 2019 release of “Occupational Employment Statistics,” this is the third factoid in a series of five factoids detailing employee wages in furniture stores and home furnishings stores across the variety of occupations.

Sales and Related Occupations

Sales and related occupations are among lowest paying jobs in furniture stores and home furnishings stores. These have also been the slowest in earnings growth. In both distribution channels, cashiers earn a median hourly rate below $12. Wages continually dropped for cashiers through 2012 to 2015, before growing in recent years – most likely due to minimum wages going up in many cities and states. Retail salespersons make more in furniture stores with a median hourly wage of $13.94, compared to $12.40 in home furnishings stores. The most startling statistic is that between 2012 and 2018, earning for retail salespersons in furniture stores grew only 6.5 percent and 5.9 percent in home furnishings stores.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment Statistics,” released March 29, 2019.

Furniture Industry Wages Non-Managerial Occupations Art and Design Occupations

Wages across the U.S. job market have been slow to grow post-recession, despite a healthy economy and the lowest unemployment rates in decades and the furniture industry is no exception. The steady increase of furniture and home furnishings sales over the last 10 years has been slower to hit employees working in the stores, but in recent years many occupations have finally started to see an upturn in wage growth.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March 2019 release of “Occupational Employment Statistics,” this is the second factoid in a series of five factoids detailing employee wages in furniture stores and home furnishings stores across the variety of occupations.

As a whole non-managerial positions among furniture and home furnishings retailers carry much lower wages than managerial positions.

Non-Managerial Occupations: Art and Design Category

Non-management wages are reported in hourly wages. Interior designers in furniture stores have shown consistent median hourly wage growth (14.1 percent) from 2012 to 2018, compared to the much slower growth pace in home furnishings from 2012 to 2018 of 3.9 percent. (Table E and Figure 2). In 2018, Interior designers earned a higher median hourly wage in furniture stores ($21.90) than in home furnishings stores ($19.75).

Median hourly wages of merchandise displayer and window treatment occupations are consistent between both channels – earning between $15 and $16 an hour in 2018.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment Statistics,” released March 29, 2019.

Furniture Industry Wages Management Occupations

Wages across the U.S. job market have been slow to grow post-recession, despite a healthy economy and the lowest unemployment rates in decades and the furniture industry is no exception. The steady increase of furniture and home furnishings sales over the last 10 years has been slower to hit employees working in the stores, but in recent years many occupations have finally started to see an upturn in wage growth. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March 2019 release of “Occupational Employment Statistics,” this is the first factoid in a series of five factoids detailing employee wages in furniture stores and home furnishings stores across the variety of occupations.

As expected, in major distribution channels that market furniture and home furnishings, retail management occupations carry the higher salary positions. With the exception of administrative service managers, wages in furniture stores are generally higher. In 2018, administrative service managers in home furnishings stores were the highest paid management positions, earning a median annual wage of $112,570 compared to the same occupation earning $77,240 in furniture stores. This represents a 42.4 percent increase from 2012 to 2018 for home furnishings stores administrative service managers compared to a 21.4 percent increase in furniture stores. In furniture stores, financial managers are the highest paid management positions averaging $114,600 annually. Purchasing managers are the second highest management position in furniture stores at $107,180, similar to wages of $107,400 in home furnishings stores. Purchasing managers earnings increased 2012 to 2018 by 45.3 percent and 20.6 percent, respectively. 

On average, neither general managers, sales managers nor transportation, storage, and distribution managers have broken the $100,000 ceiling. In addition, the earning of GMs in furniture stores and home furnishings stores have had the lowest increase of all management positions over the last five years, growing only 1.6 percent and 0.9 percent respectively 2012 to 2018. GMs in furniture stores earned over $5,000 more annually than those in home furnishings stores – sales managers more than $13,000 and $15,000 for transportation and distribution managers.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment Statistics,” released March 29, 2019.

Characteristics of Top Spending Households Region

A snapshot of today’s top-spending furniture consumers looks to be high-earning married couples, in their late 30s and early 40s with young children, living in urban areas. Using data from the 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey, this is the final factoid in a series of four factoids delving into key household characteristics – age, income, marriage/children status, occupation, population, and region.

 

With the majority of larger U.S. urban areas in the Northeast, it is not surprising the region has the highest annual furniture expenditure at $587. And even though the South has the lowest expenditures per households at $470, because of the region’s size, the South accounts for 38.3% of total furniture spending – well above the Northeast (17.9%) and the Midwest and West, both at 22%.

Source: Consumer Expenditure Survey 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics, which in 2017 calculated at a ratio of .63 versus Personal Consumption Expenditures published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (see methodology box below “ Methodology: The CE versus the PCE”

Characteristics of Top Spending Households Population

A snapshot of today’s top-spending furniture consumers looks to be high-earning married couples, in their late 30s and early 40s with young children, living in urban areas. Using data from the 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey, this is the fourth factoid in a series of four factoids delving into key household characteristics – age, income, marriage/children status, occupation, population, and region.

Urban Population

Where people live also influences how much they spend on furniture each year. Larger cities seem to command the higher salaries, but also higher costs of living. Households in America’s mega markets with over 5 million in population, do not, in fact, spend the most on furniture. Bigger cities, but not the largest urban areas, with populations between 2.5 million and 5 million – had the highest annual furniture expenditures at $669 in 2017.

Although the larger, densely populated areas spend more per household, the greatest share of total furniture purchases, 21.7 percent, are from households living in mid-sized urban areas with a population of 250,000 to 999,999.

Source: Consumer Expenditure Survey 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics, which in 2017 calculated at a ratio of .63 versus Personal Consumption Expenditures published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (see methodology box below “ Methodology: The CE versus the PCE”

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