Memorial Day Mattress Sales Sizzle, Retail Survey Reveals

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Memorial Day weekend mattress sales were up by a mean of 63% as the retail climate for bedding remains healthy, a new survey says.

The May Piper Sandler Mattress Retailer Survey, which reflects the views of mattress retailers around the country, found another strong month for retail mattress sales. Retailers reported that recent price increases from manufacturers are providing a boost to sales. And retailers continue to expect double-digit sales growth in the second quarter, compared to the second quarter of 2019.

Piper Sandler’s May survey found a moderation of sales trends in that month, with retailers reporting two-year sales growth of a mean of 23.3%, down from approximately 30% growth in April compared to April of 2019.

“We believe two-year growth was a better metric for May than year-over-year growth as our retailer set was down approximately 25% in May 2020 due to store closures and low traffic,” Piper Sandler said in its May report. “Year-over-year growth for May was 130% on a mean basis and 100% on a median basis, with results varying widely across our survey set.”

The moderation of trends in May probably reflected some negative impact from the late Memorial Day, thereby pushing delivered sales into June, Piper Sandler said.

Still, the May Memorial Day results were strong.

Written Memorial Day weekend sales were up by a mean of 63%, compared to a mean decline of 8% for the same three-day period last year, Piper Sandler reported. That suggests that Memorial Day weekend’s two-year sales growth was up about 30%, the firm added.

Piper Sandler also looked at the change in average unit prices for mattresses, foundations and adjustable bases, which jumped by a mean of 21% in May, compared to a decline of about 7% in May 2020.

Retailers responding to the May survey were slightly more bullish about second-quarter sales trends than they were in the previous month. On a two-year growth basis, the retailers said in May they see second quarter total sales growth of a mean of 28%. In April, the retailers said they see two-year growth for the second quarter being up by a mean of 26%.

The firm also looked at the impact of “recent price increases from major manufacturers,” which it said are providing “a modest sales benefit, suggesting retailers are having no issues passing on price increases to the consumer (due to strong demand).”

Collectively, 67% of the retailers surveyed said in May that those recent price increases are providing a benefit to sales trends, with 11% seeing a “significant benefit” (up 5% to 10%) and 56% seeing a “modest benefit” (up 1% to 5%). That compares to 22% of the retailers who see no change in sales trends, and 11% of retailers who see the price increases causing a “modest drag” (down 1% to 5%) on sales.

Those results are very different from those the firm found in October of 2020 when it asked the same question. At that time, 73% of the retailers said price increases were causing no change in sales trends and 27% said they were causing a “modest drag” on sales.

“Our interpretation of the change in answers versus October is that retailers are effectively passing on price increases to the consumer, perhaps above the level that manufacturers have raised prices,” Piper Sandler said.

Overall, the firm said that it expects sales trends to remain “fairly steady through the end of the quarter, particularly as a portion of the strong Memorial Day weekend sales are recognized in June.”