E-commerce Continues Double-Digit Furniture Industry Growth
E-commerce furniture and home furnishings websites continue to chip away at brick and mortar retailers, reporting a double-digit growth of 22% in 2018 compared to single-digit growth by other furniture and home furnishings retail channels.
This is the third factoid in a series of five factoids detailing how despite predictions that the rate of e-commerce growth in the furniture industry would slow, e-commerce sales have continued increase at over 20% annually in recent years.
While internet purchases have continued to gain a bigger piece of the retail pie over recent years, online sales represented only 8.6% of all retail sales for all consumer products in 2018. And mid year-to-date that percentage has declined slightly – down to 7.5% with mail orders picking up to 4.4%.
Brick and mortar retailers have tried various approaches to competing with e-commerce retailers by attempting to market through their own websites, but with little success. Furniture and home furnishings stores lag behind other retailer types in terms of e-commerce sales as a percent of total sales. E-commerce sales were 1.2% of total sales in 2017 for brick and mortar furniture and home furnishings stores, compared to 3.8% for clothing stores, 2.9% for sporting goods, hobby, and bookstores, and 2.1% for electronics and appliance stores. While the success of online retailing among brick and mortar merchants has increased over the years, the e-commerce sales comparison remains vast between brick and mortar stores and pure e-commerce retailers.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Survey of Retail Sales and Monthly E-commerce report (1) Includes Brick & Mortar store sales either sold at their stores or through the company's website. Note: Brick & Mortar companies that have dedicated business models to online sales and carry a wide range of products not available in the retailers' stores are considered E-Retailers for that business model. Their stores sales, however, are included in the Brick & Mortar category.