Furniture inventory levels hit new highs as sales continue to fall

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce has released its wholesale trade inventory for june with results that underscore the inventory issues facing furniture retailers. Bloomberg reported that at current inventory levels, the amount of unsold furniture in stock is 2.06 months, up from 1.43 months in fall 2020, setting a record for the furniture industry.

Wholesale furniture sales fell 2.9% in June, a second consecutive monthly decline, and inventories rose 2.6%, according to the Commerce Department. Figures are not adjusted for inflation.

Consumer spending has shifted towards travel and services in recent months, even as retailers cut prices to reduce inventory. Moreover, the inflation rate continues to persist, standing at 8.5% for the month of July, against 9.1% in June.

According to Bloomberg, furniture stocks have hit a new high.

A housing market downturn continues as the Federal Reserve pushes for higher borrowing costs to cool demand. These interest rate increases may also weigh on home furnishings, reducing sales and risking an even larger pool of inventory, according to Bloomberg.

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Jean Marie Layton is Upholstery Editor at Furniture Today. Passionate about design and furniture, she has worked as a writer/editor in industry and nonprofits, academic administration and furniture retail. She pursued an MA in Design History at Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt and holds a BA in History from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in Liberal Arts from Stanford University. Contact Jean Marie with your story ideas, tips and more at jlayton@furnituretoday.com