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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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Charting the Progress of Survival: Percent of Total Stores and Employee Size

In what’s considered by many as the ‘Retail Apocalypse,’ retail store closings in 2019 are on pace to exceed closings in 2018. According to a report from investment banking firm UBS, an estimated 75,000 stores that sell clothing, electronics and furniture will close by 2026.

This is the fourth factoid in a series of five factoids that studies a March 2019 report from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics of U.S. Business, shining the light on challenges furniture and home furnishings stores have faced over the last 10+ years and continue to face going forward.

Small stores with under 10 employees make up the greatest share of total furniture stores in the U.S., roughly 44% in 2016. That share has diminished since 2006 – falling 5.7 percentage points from 49.7%. The largest furniture stores with the highest number of employees (500 +) grew their share of furniture stores from 18.1%  to 27.4% in nine years – a jump of 9.3 percentage points. Overall, furniture stores with less than 100 employees all lost share to larger furniture stores. 

The majority of furniture store employees (53.4%) worked in stores with more than 100 employees in 2016 and 41.3% of those were employed in furniture stores with 500+ employees. The largest stores were the only employee range to gain a greater percentage – increasing by 9.5% from 2007 to 2016.

The shifts in store percentage and employee size were not as great for home furnishings stores. While home furnishings stores with 500+ employees did increase as a percent of total stores by 1.9%, stores with under 10 employees remained just under 60% of total home furnishings stores. Home furnishings stores with the most employees were also the only employee range to gain in size – increasing 4.2 percentage points to 55.7% in 2016.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistics of U.S. Businesses, Business Information Tracking Series

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