Survey: October Mattress Sales Fall 14%

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Piper Sandler cites Black Friday as ‘positive selling event’.

Retail mattress sales were weaker than expected in October and the fourth-quarter outlook has worsened, a new retail survey reveals.

Piper Sandler’s October Mattress Retailer survey says that total sales growth fell by a mean of 14% in October, with unit sales falling by a mean of 20%. Those were both much weaker performances than in September, when sales growth was down by a mean of 5% and units dropped by a mean of 11%.

The average unit price increased by a mean of 8% in October, about the same as September’s 9% increase.

Piper Sandler, a New York-based firm that surveys a sample of mattress retailers around the country, says the October results were “a noteworthy step down” from the last three months, and are more in line with the steep declines seen in May/June earlier this year.

It notes that October “is a low-volume month that can be disrupted during election years,” but says the industry can look forward to the upcoming Black Friday weekend. That weekend “is still on the horizon as a positive selling event,” the firm says.

Piper Sandler says the weak October is not a huge surprise, given that some public bedding companies recently reduced their fourth-quarter outlooks.

Retailers now say they are more pessimistic about their fourth-quarter performance than they were just a month ago. In early October, retailers surveyed said they anticipated a mean 4% decline in sales growth in the fourth quarter. But the latest survey, taken in early November, finds that retailers now expect a mean sales decline of 9% in the fourth quarter. That worsening outlook is “likely due to the weak October performance,” Piper Sandler says.