Almost Half of Retailers More Optimistic About Sales Trends

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Piper Sandler August survey shows double-digit dollar and unit declines, but finds positive indicators.

Retail mattress sales posted double-digit dollar and unit declines in August, but many retailers say they are now more optimistic about sales trends for the rest of the year.

Those are some of the highlights of Piper Sandler’s August Mattress Retailer Survey, which reports on the performance of a sample of mattress retailers across the country.

Total dollar sales growth was down in August by a mean of 11%, the same as in July, while total unit sales in August were down by a mean of 17%, a slight improvement over the 19% mean unit decline in July.

The average unit price increased by a mean of 8% in August, down from the 11% mean increase recorded in July. The 8% increase in August was the first single-digit increase since January of 2021. All other months have seen double-digit increases since that time.

Labor Day sales were flat on a mean basis but were up by a median of 5%, Piper Sandler reported, but those were notable improvements over double-digit declines for Memorial Day weekend sales. The firm also noted that the Labor Day performance was on top of strong Labor Day results last year when sales were up by a mean of 16%.

“Interestingly,” Piper Sandler wrote in its report on its August 2022 survey results, “we saw bifurcation in the (Labor Day) weekend sales, with larger retailers (more than 35 stores) outperforming smaller retailers (less than 35 stores).”

The New York-based firm found some positive indicators for the future. It headlined its report: “The worst seems to be in the rearview mirror.”

Asked after the Labor Day weekend how they are feeling about mattress sales trends for the rest of the year, 45% of the retailers responded that they are now more optimistic, while 9% said they are more pessimistic, and 45% of the retailers said their outlook remains the same.

Retailers in the survey said they expect third quarter sales to be down by a mean of 7%, the same estimate they had last month.