Originally printed in the May 21, 2012 print issue of Furniture Today
It took a while to get here, but 2011 was the year big retail survivors of the credit crunch and a drawn-out industry recession saw sales momentum building, thanks in part to a vital bedding segment and a group of lifestyle retailers on the march.
Furniture, bedding and accessories sales for Furniture/ Today's Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores increased for the second year in a row - this time by 6.4% to $28.4 billion. What's more, the store count for the Top 100 registered its first increase since a small gain in the 2009 report. The combined store count for this year's companies grew by 1.3%, or 115 units, to 8,684 stores.
Sales growth in 2011 topped the 5.7% increase for the Top 100 companies on last year's list, which was the first gain since the anemic 0.5% growth in 2008 (based on 2007 sales).
Furniture/Today's exclusive Top 100 ranks furniture stores by 2011 sales of furniture, bedding and decorative accessories, including fabric and furniture protection, warranties and delivery charges.
To qualify, a store must specialize in home furnishings. Sales from furniture, bedding and accessories must account for 25% or more of total sales and at least 25% of those sales must come from the stores. A store’s mix may also include electronics, appliances and other home furnishings.
Retailers with a broad merchandise mix, such as department stores, mass merchants and warehouse clubs that operate separate home furnishings stores are eligible for Top 100 listing with the sales from the free-standing home stores only. Macy’s is ranked on the Top 100 based on the sales from its dedicated furniture stores only, as is JCPenney.
Stores may primarily sell overstocked items, factory closeouts and one-of-a-kinds, such as The Dump and Furniture Factory Outlet, but not primarily sell furniture that is rented or has been previously owned. Furniture/Today will include retailers who lease or rent furniture on its Top 25 Furniture & Bedding Retailer ranking, printing in August.
Groups of stores with common ownership that operate under separate names qualify for the list. Examples are Berkshire Hathaway, which operates Nebraska Furniture Mart, Star Furniture, R.C. Willey, Jordan’s and Homemakers, and American Signature, which operates Value City Furniture and American Signature Furniture.
Single-source networks such as Ethan Allen and Thomasville are also included with the sales for the manufacturers' dedicated store networks' dedicated stores only and not from in-store galleries.
All sales figures are Furniture/Today estimates, unless these figures are reported specifically to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Estimates are based on information collected from surveys sent to retailers and from a variety of other sources, including company filings with the SEC, discussions with industry analysts and suppliers, and published and unpublished reports, including newspaper articles in various retail trading areas.
For totals and market share calculations, any overlapping or double-counting of sales volume and store counts is eliminated for those Top 100 that operate single-source stores, such as Broad River Furniture, which operates Ashley Furniture HomeStores, and EBCO, which operates La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries.
For conventional and specialty store breakouts, among conventional retailers that also own bedding stores, the bedding sales and store counts are included with the conventional stores data. For example, sales and store count for Mattress Discounters is reported with RoomStore which acquired the bedding retailer in 2008.
Year-to-year comparisons are made to the same group of Top 100 companies ranked in both years. Sales and store counts were assumed flat for those retailers where 2010 data was not available when comparing total 2011 and 2010 data for the Top 100. In cases of stores with identical 2011 sales, the company with the faster sales growth earns the higher rank.
Please Note: This report is available for immediate electronic download in PDF format. When you order this report, you will come to an order confirmation page which will show your report, with a blue "Download" button.