In a volatile year for home goods sales, one retailer climbs highest

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NEW YORK — While several pure players in the home market were able to swim against the tide of inflation and waning interest to register some gains during 2022, it was the big fish — Amazon — that saw its numbers rise most significantly, according to analysis by YipitData in its 2022 Home Goods Market Report.

When comparing online sales among the home goods generalists between January and October 2022 vs. the same period in 2021, Amazon saw its share of market increase by 2.34 percentage points to 86.13% in comparison with Walmart and Target, which both saw their market share drop.

Home category purists, which encompass retailers Wayfair, HomeGoods, Ikea, Big Lots, Ashley and RH, among others, saw mixed results as well.

Among the Top 10, Wayfair — which led the group with a 13.72% share — along with No. 3 Ikea, No. 7 Pottery Barn, No. 8 RH, No. 9 La-Z-Boy and No. 10 West Elm all experienced upward movement in share, ranging from Wayfair’s razor-thin 0.02 percentage point gain to nearly 1.5 percentage points for La-Z-Boy.

However, YipitData reported that the Top 5 saw declining sales year-over-year for the 10 months that were tracked.

Along with a sales drop, No. 2 HomeGoods, No. 4 Big Lots and No. 5 Bed, Bath and Beyond also experienced a reduction in share, based on YipitData’s transaction analysis of online and offline sales. No. 6 Ashley also saw share decline. Not surprising, embattled Bed, Bath and Beyond took the biggest hit, dropping its share by nearly 2 percentage points to end up at just below 6%.

Reflective of its key position, there were times over the past year when Amazon single-handedly matched the combined home category pure players for share based on gross merchandise value (percentage of sales). In December 2021, Amazon’s GMV share hit 50% and came close again in July 2022, during Amazon’s summer Prime Days event.

Despite Amazon’s dominance, it’s the pure player category that has continued to build its per order size, ranging from $150 to a top average order value (AOV) of $166 between January and October this year. Frequency of purchases have been averaging around 1.5 times a month.

That is in comparison with the mass retailers that had an average selling price between $26 and $32 for the same period. Purchasing frequency is higher, however, in the range of 2 times to 2.2 times a month.

According to YipitData’s analysis, the price gap suggests mass market consumers are buying from the less expensive home categories such as décor and textiles, while the home specialty stores are seeing higher-priced buys such as furniture.

Looking at average order value for specific retailers in the Top 10, La-Z-Boy has continued to hold onto its top spot, with the exception of May 2022 when data showed RH jumping ahead with an AOV above $1,400. By October, La-Z-Boy’s AOV was around $1,600, after beginning the year at about $1,300, while RH’s was closer to $1,300, up from around $1,000 in January.

Ashley also saw its AOV rise during 2022, from around $850 to just above $1,000. No. 1 Wayfair’s average order stayed consistent during the year, coming in between $200 and $300.

Inflation was the likely factor for the increases that were reflected in both average order value and average selling price. The average selling price (ASP) for furniture was up anywhere from 5% to more than 20%, with the highest peak coming in October 2022. Bedding, meanwhile, saw its biggest change in ASP in January, when it rose to more than 10% year-over-year before settling in the low single-digits by October.

Home décor, on the other hand, has seen massive price drops year-over-year, with average selling prices estimated to be 20% or more below where they were a year ago from May through October, with a just slight change in July.

And who has been buying this year amid the inflation-driven price hikes? High-income households (earners of $151,000 or more) accounted for the largest share of home goods sales, coming in with at 30% or more of total online and offline sales during 2022. YipitData’s findings show that by late spring, all income groups began spending less year-over-year, with the biggest drop coming from those in the $60,000 and less income group.

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