Piper Sandler bedding retailer survey finds 22% drop in units but 16% gain in average unit price
Retail mattress sales dropped by double digits in April, the second straight month of sales declines, a new retail survey says. Sales were down by a mean of 10%.
Piper Sandler’s April Mattress Retailer Survey, which reflects the performance of retailers around the United States, also found a double-digit drop in units, which were down by a mean of 22%.
The New York-based firm called the results “mildly disappointing,” but noted that many retailers believed Memorial Day weekend sales “will drive an improvement in industry demand helped by broad-based supplier promos and increased retailer marketing.”
The firm said that 67% of retailers surveyed believed it was “very likely” or “likely” that Memorial Day sales would drive an improvement in demand.
Total delivered mattress sales, including foundations and adjustable bases, were up by a mean of 7% in February, but dropped by a mean of 6% in March before the 10% decline in April.
Declines in units have been steeper, Piper Sandler said. While units were down by a mean of 9% in February, they dropped by a mean of 20% in March and fell by a mean of 22% in April.
Double-digit gains in average unit prices have kept the dollar declines running at more modest levels than the unit declines. The AUP for mattresses, including foundations and adjustable bases, increased by a mean of 17% in February, was up by the same amount in March, and was up by a mean of 16% in April.
Piper Sandler asked the retailers if they believe awareness of better sleep as a key component of health is on the upswing. The firm said that 33% of the retailers “definitely” think that consumers are more aware of or more interested in better sleep as a key component of their overall health and wellness, with another 56% thinking consumers are “possibly” more aware of better sleep as a key health component.
Those results are “slightly less enthusiastic” than the responses retailers gave to the same question a year ago, Piper Sandler said. At that time, 75% of retailers said they definitely think consumers are more aware of the better sleep-better health connection.
“Overall,” Piper Sandler wrote in its report on the April survey findings, “health and wellness appears to be a part of the mattress buying process, but has perhaps moderated year over year as consumer spending in the category has slowed.”
The surveyed retailers also indicated increasing pessimism about second-quarter sales results. In early April, the retailers said they estimate their total sales growth in the second quarter will decline by a mean of 5%. But in early May, they said they estimate their total sales in the quarter will decline by a mean of 7%.