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From Home Furnishing Business

Study: Harvey, Irma Damage Could Boost Furniture Sales by $4 Billion

A new study shows that the replacement value of furniture and bedding destroyed by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is likely to top $4 billion in Texas and Florida – and could go higher, depending on how much financial assistance homeowners receive from insurance claims and state and federal governments.

The study, completed by Impact Consulting Services, parent company of Home Furnishings Business, indicated that homeowners in the Houston metro area alone will need to replace $1.3 billion worth of furniture, while the hard-hit Beaumont-Port Arthur market is estimated to have furniture losses with a replacement value of $639 million.

“The impact on the furniture industry from these two disasters will be significant,” said Bob George, president of Impact Consulting and publisher of Home Furnishings Business. “Most likely, the greatest sales impact will be felt in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2018, but it will extend for 18 months.”

The study used data from Impact Consulting’s proprietary industry sales model, which provided sales estimates for affected metro areas in Texas and Florida, as well as data on the number of destroyed or heavily damaged homes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The estimated replacement value of furniture and bedding in Texas was put at $2.4 billion, while Florida’s replacement value was put at $1 billion to $2 billion.

George explained that the Florida estimates are less precise because data regarding the number of destroyed or heavily damaged home is still being compiled by FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. However, he noted that counties accounting for an estimated 95 percent of the state’s furniture and bedding sales have been declared disaster areas by FEMA.

He said he believes the estimates are conservative because the losses detailed in the study only included single-family residences – not apartments of other multi-family dwellings. Plus, coastal areas in Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina that sustained hurricane damage also were not included.

An in-depth look at the numbers will appear in the October issue of Home Furnishings Business, which will be mailed to subscribers on or about Oct. 10. The issue also will be available in publication bins throughout the High Point Market, which takes place Oct. 14-18.







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