Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

By Michael Haydock
IBM Global Business Services
Chief Scientist

This week we released the global IBM 2Q Retail Forecast, which found that home furnishing sales are going to receive a boost over the next three months— a healthy 8 percent increase for in-store sales and 28.44 percent for online sales. Combined, we expect to see a 16.6 percent increase in home furnishing sales in the months of April, May and June. This is good news for the retail industry.

There were a number of factors that contributed to this uptick – including an increase of rental activity, the rise of disposable incomes, and a trend toward “accessorization.” Perhaps the most interesting driver of future home furnishings sales– was discovered within a hidden correlation to the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

During the auspicious “Year of the Dragon” which falls once every 12 years, tens of thousands of people around the world plan their marriages and births to get an extra dose of luck and good fortune.

We decided to test our hypothesis against our in-store sales data. Did the home furnishing sales actually spike during the last Year of the Dragon, in the year 2000?

The answer is yes. Interestingly, home furnishings sales in the year 2000 ranked the third-highest out of a period of 22 years.

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