May Mattress Sales ‘Disappointing’

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Piper Sandler retail survey reports dollars down 14%, units down 26%

The summer selling season, a key period for mattress sales, got off to a slow start, a new retail survey says.

Piper Sandler’s May Mattress Retailer Survey, which reflects the performance of mattress retailers around the country, found mattress sales down for that month by a mean of 14%, with mattress unit shipments plunging by a mean of 26%.

Once again, a strong average unit price increase – up by a mean of 19% in May – helped offset a significant unit decline.

“Disappointing month as trends deteriorate” was the headline on Piper Sandler’s report for its May mattress retail survey.

The Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the launch of the summer selling season, produced disappointing results, the survey said; sales for that three-day weekend were down by a mean of 11%. In contrast, sales for the three-day Memorial Day weekend in 2021 were up by a mean of 63%, according to Piper Sandler’s survey for May of 2021.

The survey results are for total delivered sales of mattresses, and they include foundations and adjustable bed bases.

Piper Sandler noted that the Memorial Day weekend results were only slightly better than the performance for the full month, despite “heavy advertising and promotions” for the holiday. “Conversations with retailers suggest the weekend was largely disappointing,” the New York-based firm wrote in its report.

Retailers are now estimating that their second quarter sales will be down by a mean of 14%. That is a step down from the retail results gathered in early May for the April survey; retailers then said they were expecting second quarter sales to be down by a mean of 7%.

For its May survey, Piper Sandler asked retailers about demand for mattresses by price point. It found that 50% of retailers said they were seeing greater demand for premium mattresses, those retailing for more than $1,500. But an equal percentage said they were seeing greater demand for mattresses retailing for less than $1,500.

“We expected to see higher-priced mattresses relatively outperforming due to the weakness in lower income consumer spending,” Piper Sandler wrote in its report on the May survey results.