Labor Day Weekend Sales “Better than Expected”

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Piper Sandler’s preliminary retail check also finds improving sales trend in August

Retail sales of furniture and mattresses were “better than expected” for the Labor Day weekend, according to preliminary retail checks conducted by Piper Sandler.

The New York-based firm made some quick checks with retailers ahead of its regular monthly retail mattress survey to gauge sales performance for the Labor Day weekend, a key sales period for mattress retailers.

According to the findings, furniture and mattresses fell in a broad range, from flat to up as much as 15%, Piper Sandler says.

“This is a stark contrast to Memorial Day weekend when expectations were high and sales were roughly down 10%,” the firm says. “Retailers also noted an improving sales trend in August compared to May, June and early July. While one weekend does not make a quarter, we suspect a ‘return to home’ spending trend could be taking hold as consumers return from summer vacations.”

Piper Sandler says that retailers continue to see “notable declines” in traffic, but notes that average selling prices continue to run “nicely higher.”

Furniture and mattress sales appeared to be similar over the Labor Day weekend. “Some retailers noted mattress sales were slightly, better while others noted furniture sales were slightly better,” Piper Sandler says. “Regardless, performance between the two was in a tight band.”

The firm says that it found that dollars-off promotions, typically with an adjustable base purchase, were deeper on Labor Day weekend than during other holiday selling periods this year. “Also, nearly all mattress suppliers participated in promotions,” Piper Sandler adds.

Looking ahead, the firm says retailers are voicing some concern about sales over the next two to three months, but “feel better about the outlook overall.” “Sales are expected to be tough but not as bad as May/June,” the firm says.