Since they hit their recessionary lows, retail sales have gained more than 16%—compared to the mere 4% recovery for furniture and home furnishings, reported The Atlantic.
Furniture and home furnishing sales fell by more than 25% from $9.6 billion in January 2007 to $7.1 billion in October 2009. The chart below compares furniture and home furnishing sales (red line) with total retail and food services sales (green line).
Census Bureau, Seasonally Adjusted
Not all companies are sharing in the retail no-growth syndrome. For the quarter ended May 28, Pier 1 earned $14.1 million compared with $7.7 million in the year-earlier quarter, and same quarter sales increased to $335 million from $306 million.
Williams-Sonoma Inc.'s first-quarter net income rose 62% on 7.4% higher revenue. Profit reached $31.6 million from $19.5 million in the year-earlier period. Ethan Allen reported at the end of April that sales grew more than 10% in comparison to last year's fiscal third quarter, and profits were $0.12 per share, a nice turnaround after last year's same quarter $0.03 per share loss.
"While there are economic headwinds, we have continued to maintain our progress in written business (booked orders) during the months of April and May," said Ethan Allen's Chairman and CEO, Farooq Kathwari. "We are benefitting from many marketing and operations initiatives taken during the last several years especially during the last three years with the advent of the 'Great Recession'. We also continue to benefit from the leverage of our vertically integrated structure."