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SPECIALTY RETAILERS REV UP THE REVENUES.

NEW YORK-Retailers specializing in segments of the home furnishings market -- floor covering stores, for example, as opposed to department stores selling carpets -- increased their revenues in 1997 by an average of 6.4 percent to $152.3 billion, according to an HFN analysis based on published and unpublished data obtained from the Commerce Department.

The rate of growth in 1997 also increased; in 1996, total revenues had grown by only 5.6 percent from the previous year.

Among the specialty sellers, the largest increase in revenues was recorded by computer stores, most likely due to the expanding role of computers in all facets of the economy, and the public dependence on ever more powerful and faster machines. During the year, computer store sales jumped by 19.5 percent to almost $20.3 billion. Yearly growth rates for computer stores have far outpaced those for other segments, surpassing 32 percent in 1994.

Retailers specializing in draperies, curtains and upholstery also did well in 1997, increasing their sales by 10.7 percent to almost $1.6 billion.

Only consumer electronics stores, excluding computer outlets, had a decline during the year, of 1.7 percent. Their revenue growth rate had been slowing since 1995.

Specialty home furnishings store sales ($ millions)

 (Annual Percent Change)
 1997 1996-97 1995-96 1994-95
Hardware/housewares stores $14,615 1.7% 2.1% 0.28%
Furniture stores $42,795 9.7% 6.4% 3.51%
Floor covering stores $13,081 7.8% 1.3% 2.53%
Drapery/curtain/upholstery
 stores $1,5891 0.7% 5.6% 17.16%
Miscellaneous furnishings
 stores $14,169 5.8% 9.2% 5.02%
(shades, glassware,
 lamps, et al.)
Appliance/housewares stores $10,254 6.0% 1.2% 8.85%
Consumer electronics stores $33,531 -1.7% 3.7% 12.51%
Computer stores(hardware
 & software) $20,255 19.5% 15.2% 22.33%
Totals $152,286 6.4% 5.6% 7.5%

 (Annual Percent Change)
 1993-94 1992-93
Hardware/housewares stores 6.7% 3.3%
Furniture stores 7.0% 6.0%
Floor covering stores 8.4% 3.4%
Drapery/curtain/upholstery
 stores 7.4% 10.3%
Miscellaneous furnishings
 stores 14.2% 5.1%
(shades, glassware,
 lamps, et al.)
Appliance/housewares stores -2.4% 7.0%
Consumer electronics stores 24.8% 15.6%
Computer stores(hardware
 & software) 32.3% 27.7%
Totals 12.7% 8.7%



Sources: US Commerce Dept., HFN
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Title Annotation:home furnishings stores
Author:Weber, Nathan
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Jul 20, 1998
Words:394
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