Furniture and carpet retail sales suffer January lull

Furniture retail sales fell during January compared to last year as well as against the previous month.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the value of furniture and lighting sales resulted at £992.1m, down 43% from £1.6bn in December. It was the first month sales had dropped below £1.1bn following a run of seven straight months.

Compared to the January 2020, sales were down by 35% from £1.4bn.

Flooring sales reported another sharp decline during January by 29% to £76.7m from £109.4m in December. Compared to January last year, sales were down 33% from £114.9m.

Overall, the value of sales decreased by 7.2% to £28.9bn year-on-year, while the volume of sales dropped by 5.9% – ending eight consecutive months of growth.

The proportion spent online soared to 35.2% in January 2021, the highest on record; this compares with 29.6% in December 2020 and 19.5% reported in January 2020.