Furniture Stores Top Selling Months : Percent of Annual Sales by Month in Selected Years: 1st and 2nd Quarters
This is the third factoid in a series of four factoids detailing monthly Furniture Store sales and the top selling times of the year to buy furniture and home furnishings. Many life events spur home furnishings purchases. But along with buying a new home, marriage, and having children, the time of the year plays an important part in overall Furniture Store sales.
While the 1st quarter contributed less than 25 percent to Furniture Stores sales in 2016, tax refunds issued at the end of February and throughout March propelled sales upward impacting March significantly. January is negatively impacted especially in markets sensitive to winter weather. And with no big sales event to lure customers, it is the worst performing month of the year for Furniture Stores. February has the draw of big Presidents’ Day sales which helps the weather-sensitive markets recoup somewhat. However, consumers seem to be holding out until spring when income tax refunds arrive. In 2016, almost two-thirds of total annual refunds totaling $203 billion (out of $317 billion) were paid before March 25. March is the only month in the quarter that consistently out performs the average for all months, which is 8.3 percent of sales.
The 2nd quarter typically produces lower Furniture Store sales than the remainder of the year because of a historically poor performance in April. Memorial Day sales in May always produce excellent sales– an average of 8.4 percent throughout the past two decades. In recent years June has also performed above the average. The next and final factoid of this series will focus on third and fourth quarters.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services