Retail mattress sales were strong in March, but retailers say product delays and foam shortages are impacting their business, a new survey reveals.
More than one-quarter (27%) of the retailers surveyed noted that product delays and foam shortages are having a “significant impact” on their business. And the remainder of the retailers surveyed reported that those delays and shortages are having a “modest impact” on their business. None of the retailers surveyed said delays and shortages were having no impact.
Piper Sandler’s March Mattress Retailer Survey, which presents the views of mattress retailers across the United States, found that retail sales were up by a mean of 57.7% in March, by far the largest sales gain of the year.
But, the firm noted, those gains were measured against sales declines of about 33% in March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the economy hard. Piper Sandler said that “all major brands saw their strongest growth in years” this March, against “easy” year-over-year comparisons.
The March growth continues a 2021 trend. Total dollar sales were up by a mean of 22.3% in January over the previous year and increased by a mean of 8.8% in February, the survey said.
For the first quarter, total retail dollar sales were up by a mean of 30.2%, much stronger than retailers’ expectations at the end of February, which were in the 15% range. That suggests “a very strong finish to the quarter,” Piper Sandler said.
Looking ahead, the retailers are expecting substantial dollar growth in the second quarter, with a mean expectation of 50% growth over a pandemic-plagued second quarter in 2020.
And when looking ahead to the full year, the retailers are much more bullish now than they were a quarter ago about sales prospects. In the December 2020 survey, retailers predicted mean sales growth of 12% for all of 2021. Now they are predicting mean sales growth of 22% for the full year.
The survey also found that the percentage of dollar sales that utilized financing in the first quarter declined to a mean of 29.3%, compared with a mean of 31.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Piper Sandler interviews retailers on a variety of issues each month.