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From Home Furnishing Business

Boston Furniture Sales Plummet 14.7% from Blizzards

Any Boston area home furnishings retailer can tell you this winter’s weather has been brutal causing cash registers ring significantly less. Now there’s “official” proof.

According to the most recent SpendTrend report from First Data Corp., the Northeast’s deep freeze put consumer spending on ice, and home furnishings retailers were hit the hardest with a 14.7 percent decline in sales.

The report said Boston retailers in all categories showed a dramatic 6.3 percent drop in overall spending during January and February during the blizzards that hit the city.

“While Boston always experiences cold winters, the severity of the storms this year resulted in a major decrease in consumer spending, particularly in merchant establishments that rely on foot traffic or available parking,” said Krish Mantripragada, senior vice president of information and analytics solutions for First Data. “In 2014, Boston actually saw a modest year-over-year spending growth of 0.9 percent, which was in line with the national average of 1.3 percent. The 2015 winter weather caused spending to plummet 6.2 percent, a notable difference from the positive growth of 1.5 percent that merchants nationwide enjoyed.”

The analysis, which compared spending during the period of peak snowfall from Jan. 24 through Feb. 22 to the same period in 2014, analyzed the greater Boston metropolitan area and all of New England, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island. Additionally, First Data analyzed spending from more than four million merchants nationwide during the same period to provide a national overview of winter consumer spending.

The complete report is available online

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