Home furnishings retailers lead the pack

Washington -- Hit hard by rising prices at the pump and higher credit card bills as interest rates move up, consumers kept their wallets in their pockets during June and retail sales declined by 0.2%, the Commerce Department reported.

With consumers increasingly gun-shy about rising gas prices, auto sales were notably hard hit, declining by 1.6%. And with higher interest rates making cars less affordable, car sales are now down 3.5% from year-before levels.

The month's surprise big winners were furniture and home furnishings stores, where sales jumped up by 1.3% to their highest level in several months. Indeed, the core home channel is one of retail's biggest winners for the past 12 months, with year-over-year sales advancing by 9.3%.

Other home-related channels did less well, though. Do-it-yourselfers took the month off, and sales in building material and garden supply outlets declined by 1.0%; and sales in electronics and appliance stores fell by 0.7%.

Sales in department stores declined by 0.3%, extending their losing streak, and year-over-year sales were off by 22%. Even internet and catalog shoppers took a breather, and sales for non-store retailers slipped by 0.3%. But even with the stumble, non-store sales are still up a heady 12.3% from June last year.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!