Originally printed in the May 20, 2013 print issue of Furniture Today
Furniture/Today's Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores posted a 9.9% increase in furniture, bedding and accessories sales last year as the big continued to get bigger, gobbling up market share in the midst of a slowly improving economic climate.
It was the third consecutive annual gain for the Top 100 — a nearly double-digit increase at that — as combined sales jumped to $31.4 billion from $28.6 billion for the same companies in 2011.
The Top 100, which Furniture/Today began ranking 22 years ago, also saw its first healthy gain in overall store count in years, up 7.3%, or 621, stores for a total of 9,137 units at year's end. Last year’s Top 100 companies increased store count by 1.3%, and the figure has bobbed up and down by a similar margin since the 2008 report.
Furniture/Today's exclusive Top 100 ranks furniture stores by 2012 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 freestanding 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 FFO Home, but not primarily sell furniture that is rented or has been previously owned. Furniture/Today will include retailers that 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.
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 2011 data was not available when comparing total 2012 and 2011 data for the Top 100. In cases of stores with identical 2012 sales, the company with the faster sales growth earns the higher rank.
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