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IBM Forecasts Surge in Home Furnishings Sales

Sales of home furnishings in the U.S. are expected to shoot higher in the second quarter, with in-store sales increasing nearly 8 percent to $23.222 billion and online sales increasing 28.4 percent, according to an IBM (NYSE: IBM) analytics-based forecast.

Combined in-store and online sales of home furnishings are expected to grow 16.6 percent in the second quarter, IBM said Friday.

The company experts cite a number of important factors that could be driving purchases, including “Year of the Dragon” weddings and the trend toward accessorizing living spaces.

Online sales of home furnishings are expected to post a year-over-year increase of 30.7% in April, 25.9% in May and 29.1% in June, with sales for the quarter coming in at 28.4%.

This forecast of online sales is based on real-time sales data from the web sites of more than 500 leading U.S. retailers, says IBM.

Home Furnishings

Home Furnishings

IBM retail and analytics experts see a number of important trends bolstering home furnishing sales. For example, the concept of “accessorizing” is moving from the apparel market to home furnishings as many homeowners during the past few years have decided to stay put rather than move.

Moreover, homes are getting smaller, compelling consumers to “resize” their furnishings to accommodate smaller spaces and disposable income is rising as more people go back to work while rental activity is increasing.

“Consumers are opting to give their home a new-look by remodeling and accessorizing. New towels, bedding or even a picture can really spruce up a room,” said Jill Puleri, global retail leader for IBM Global Business Services.

Puleri noted that the Chinese Year of the Dragon, which began on February 4, is shaping up to be especially popular year for weddings, which could also be boosting home furnishing sales.

The IBM forecast is produced using statistical and analytical software to evaluate both the long-term sales trend and seasonal peaks.

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