T.S. Eliot called April the cruelest month, but for electronics and appliance dealers May has proven itself a serious contender.
According to the latest retail sales estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, year-over-year sell-through for the CE/majap channel fell 3.1 percent last month, to about $8.6 billion, while sales were essentially flat from April.
Related: Conn’s May Metrics Worsen
In contrast, May sales at furniture and home-furnishing stores were flat from last year, and sell-through for e-tailers and other direct-sellers jumped 12.2 percent.
Total retail sales, excluding restaurants, car dealers and auto parts stores, edged up 0.4 percent for the month.
The figures were adjusted for seasonal variation and for holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
Conn’s, which reported weakness across multiple categories last month, attributed its comp sale declines to a late Memorial Day weekend, while Best Buy said a dearth of new flagship smartphones will put a damper on business for the balance of the year.