Furniture retail sales increased during September; volumes decline

Furniture retail sales rose during September on last month and against an annual comparison, marking the third highest figure so far this year.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, furniture and lighting retail sales increased 27.2% to £1.4bn from £1.1bn in August. Compared to the previous year, sales rose 7.6% from £1.3bn.

Floorcovering retail sales rose month-on-month by 23.1% to £265.6m from £215.7m. Compared to the same time last year, sales increased by 18.7% from £223.7m.

Household goods stores (such as furniture stores) sales volumes fell by 1.5% in September 2022 because of falls in each of its sub-industries. Continuing feedback from retailers suggests that consumers are cutting back on spending because of increased prices and affordability concerns.

Overall, total retail sales volume (quantity bought) in September fell by 6.9%, while the value (amount spent) increased by 3.8% to £45.1bn year-on-year. On a monthly comparison, volumes were down 1.4%, with the value spent also down by 1.4%.

The proportion of retail sales taking place online was 26.4% in September 2022; this has remained at a broadly consistent level since May 2022.

Commenting on the retail sales figures for the month, director of economic statistics Darren Morgan, said: “Retail sales continued to fall in September after a weak August, and consumers are now buying less than before the pandemic. Drops were seen across all main areas of retailing, with falling sales in food stores making the largest contribution.

“Retailers told us that the fall in September was partly because many stores were closed for the Queen’s funeral, but also because of continued price pressures leading consumers to be careful about spending.”

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