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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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Series Factoid #1: Disappearing Middle Class - Mean Household Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent in Selected Years 2002, 2007, and 2012

U.S. households are frequently divided by the Department of Commerce into equal “fifths” in terms of mean (average) income.  This division helps track the movement of households within the income classes, i.e. Poverty, Lower Income, Middle Income, Upper Income, and High Income.

Looking at the mean household income from 2002 to 2012, the slow growth of the lower 80% of households is apparent, while the top 20% is growing at a steady rate with the top 5 percent adding to the widening gap between the middle class and high income households. 

Both the Highest Fifth and Top 5 percent of households grew 27% from 2002.  The Top 5 percent jumped from a mean income of $251,000 in 2002 to $318,052 in 2012, while the highest 20% overall increased from $143,743 to $181,905.

In 2012, the mean household income for the Fourth Fifth quintile was $82,098 and $51,179 for the Third Fifth – both increasing an average of 21% from 2002.  The lowest 2/5th of households increased their mean incomes by an average of 16%. 


Industry Sales by Quarter 2008 Q1 to 2014 Q1 Bedding Industry


Bedding sales jumped by 11.5% in the first quarter of 2014 after a disappointing slump in late 2013.  This growth in sales allowed the Bedding Industry to match and slightly surpass sales in the same quarter as last year.  Year-to-date, sales are up 0.25%.

*Historical data has been revised


Industry Growth Quarter to Quarter 2011 to 2014 Q1 Bedding Industry

The chart above shows the performance quarter-to-quarter for 2011 through the first quarter of 2014.  While the Bedding Industry had a slight growth of 0.2% quarter to quarter (2013Q1 to 2014Q1), sales are up 11.5% over the fourth quarter of 2013.  


*Historical data has been revised


Industry Sales by Quarter 2008 Q1 to 2014 Q1 Furniture & Bedding












The Industry continues a gradual decline since its peak growth in 2013Q3, with sales totaling $21.14 billion.  Although dropping (-0.9)% from the previous quarter, Combined Furniture and Bedding increased 0.9% from the first quarter of 2013.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) experienced a slight increase of 1.0% over 2013Q1, but declined (-2.7)% over last year’s final quarter.  Bedding jumped 11.5% from 2013Q4, while maintaining a flat growth of 0.2% compared with quarter 1 of 2013.  Year-to-date, both Furniture and Bedding are up less than 1%.

Prime Furniture Purchasing Income Groups Average Annual Furniture Expenditures (Households) by Income Groups in Selected Years 2003 to 2012


All of the income segments were affected by the recession that peaked in 2009. As the data shows, spending levels for the higher income groups declined the most, but are now bouncing back at a higher rate.

Households making $150,000 and over spent 44% less from 2007 to 2009 but increased 26% from 2009 to 2013Q2 with an average annual expenditure of $1,311. After spending 35% less from 2007 to 2009, those making $100,000 to $149,999 upped their annual spending by 25% in 2013Q2.

Median household income has dropped from $56,080 in 1999 to $51,017 in 2013. Average annual spending for the income group closest to the national average ($50,000 to $69,999) has shown the same trend -decreasing since 2003 (with a flat growth of 2% from 2009 to 2013Q2).

Spending for those making $20,000 to $49,999 stayed relatively static from 2003 to 2013Q2 (down slightly by 3%). While households making $20,000 and under dropped by (-18% ) over the same period –averaging just $103.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “Consumer Expenditure Survey” and Impact Consulting model.



Prime Furniture Purchasing Income Groups Average Annual Furniture Expenditures (Households)by Income Group: 2013Q2

When it comes to average annual furniture purchases, households making $150,000 and over are spending exponentially more than lower income households. With an average annual expenditure of $1,311 in 2013Q2, the $150,000 and over group (just 9.5% of the total furniture buying population) is spending almost double those households making between $100,000 to $149,000.

Source:  U.S. Department of Labor, “Consumer Expenditure Survey” and Impact Consulting model. 



Prime Furniture Purchasing Income Groups: Growth in Furniture Buying Population (Households) by Income Group: 2000 to 2012

Looking at growth patterns for Prime Furniture Purchasing Income Groups between 2000 and 2012, the trends are pretty clear.  Household growth lies squarely in the higher end. The number of households with incomes over $75,000 is up 62%, while the number of households making under $75,000 has a flat growth of 0.3%.

Households making over $150,000 saw by far the highest jump in overall population (a cumulative growth rate of 133%).  Households making between $75,000 and $150,000 also saw double-digit population growth - rising more than 26%. 

The remaining lower income groups all declined from 2000 to 2012.  These households dropped from 75% of the total furniture buying population in 2000 to 67% in 2012.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey.


Industry Sales by Quarter 2008 Q1 to 2013 Q4 Bedding Industry









While the third quarter of 2013 experienced its traditional jump in sales, likewise the fourth quarter experienced its traditional – down -14.8%.  Although the Bedding Industry did decline over last quarter, it is up 4.7% over 2012Q4.  Year-to-date, sales are up 2.42%.


Industry Sales 2007 to 2013 (YTD) Furniture & Bedding










Combined Furniture and Bedding sales for 2013 (YTD) are up 2.4% over the same period last year. Furniture (excluding Bedding) is up 2.36% and bedding is up 2.42%.



Industry Growth Quarter to Quarter: 2011 to 2013 Q4









The chart above shows the performance quarter to quarter for 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2013.

While Industry Sales continued to increase slowly quarter by quarter in 2013, combined Furniture and Bedding showed good growth over the poor performance of Q4 last year.  Q4 to Q4 sales rose 8.3% .

Furniture (excluding Bedding) increased 8.8%, while Bedding grew 4.7% quarter to quarter (2012Q4 to 2013Q4). 


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