SINCE COVID-19, BUSINESS IS BOOMING
Since COVID-19, business is booming for several unexpected sectors. I am not referring to the obvious trades like:
- Healthcare | Pharmaceuticals
- PPE (personal protective equipment) Manufacturers
- Grocery Stores | Home Goods Retailers
- Ecommerce | Online Shopping (i.e. Amazon)
- Delivery Services
I am talking about areas of commerce that wouldn’t necessarily spring to mind. But when you think about it, make sense.
I have personal experience with this one. In the early days of quarantine, our business was deemed essential, so our staff was able to continue working remotely. 3 weeks into working from home, my husband and I made a decision. It was time to share our lives with a new pup since we had recently lost our 14-year-old lab. Two months and 50+ applications later, we FINALLY made it to the front of the line at a small rural animal shelter 2 hours from home.
We were part of a nationwide frenzy that started in mid-March when people began quarantine. I believe an August 2020 Washington Post article explained it best, “Americans kept trying to fill voids with canine companions, either because they were stuck working from home with children who needed something to do, or had no work and lots of free time, or felt lonely with no way to socialize”. So, folks took to shelters, nonprofit rescues, breeders and pet stores to fill the void.
But it did not end there. The adoption tsunami also spiked demand for veterinary care, groomers, pet food retailers and doggy daycare centers.
POOLS | HOT TUBS
The Kansas City Star interviewed a pool and spa store owner who was quoted as saying “above ground pools were the new Charmin toilet paper”. And they were not the only ones. Above ground pool, inground pool and hot tub retailers across the Nation cannot keep up with demand. Because with nationwide restrictions, Americans found it easier to create a vacation spot than traveling to one.
Yesterday, NBC4 Columbus reported that the uptick in demand for inground pools is so high that installation wait time has shot up from 6 months to 2 years. So, I just assumed it was a manpower issue. But an August 2020 Reuters article helped shed more light on the “why”. They reported that pool manufacturers were also scrambling to meet demand because of material (pumps, heaters, liners, etc.) shortages.
Yup, sheds. Shed manufacturers have been running a brisk business since the pandemic started. Why? Because remote workers who are finding it hard to Zoom in peace at home, are moving to the backyard. Homeowners who don’t have the resources for costly additions are hitting home improvement centers for a quick and easy alternative.
Home Depot for instance has portable workshop/office buildings that start at $3425. And they ship right to your door. However, for the more sophisticated shed dweller, companies such as StudioShed, Modern-Shed, and Kanga Room Systems provide a more upscale option – at a more upscale price.
Since the quarantine, people have spent quite a bit of time indoors. All those things you didn’t quite love about your home are now under constant scrutiny. And now since more and more companies are looking to make remote working a thing of the permanent future, people are rethinking how they want to live. So, both resale and new home markets are seeing a staggering surge. It’s not just in the “close to downtown” walkable communities. Since commuting is less of an issue, remote workers are relooking at suburbs where you can get more house for less, comparatively.
CNN refers to it as the “nesting economy” because Americans are staying and working from home. Last month Money Magazine reported that “everyone wants a house right now”. They interviewed 9 housing industry experts on the state of real estate who agree that interest rates and low inventory of housing are some key drivers. But they also point to Millennials (Generation Y), who now make up the largest segment of the population. The Millennials are looking to nest and start a family; they are steering the boom.
COVID-19, business is also booming for bicycle retailers. The NY Times, LA Times, Denver Post, Chicago Trib and several other papers across the Nation are reporting similar messages “they’re buying bikes like toilet paper”. CNBC reported that even now “months after the initial surge began” bike shop owners are dealing with supply shortages.
This one was pretty simple to understand. What better way to social distance and avoid crowds than in the middle of a lake. From coast to coast boats sales of all kinds are breaking records. That includes small craft like canoes and kayaks.
But it’s not just boat sales. For people who don’t want to commit to full on ownership, there are boat sharing organizations. Boat Setter, GetMyBoat, ClickandBoat are just a few. They are the Airbnb for boaters.
Travel and Leisure magazine also reports that since cruises are off the table during the pandemic, private yacht companies are seeing double digit increases. Families or groups of friends can enjoy a private yacht charter to Fiji for instance. For $15,000, 6 guests can experience a weeklong catamaran voyage, which includes crew, meals…the works.
ROBOVACS | ROBOMOPS
Since the onset of COVID-19, business is booming for robotic floor sweepers and floor mops. Yes, both businesses and residences have turned to I-Robot, Eufy, Neo and countless others brands to take of daily floor cleaning tasks.
A June article in Fortune reported that commercial facilities have found robotic floor cleaners by SoftBank Robotics, BrainCorp and others a better sanitary solution during the pandemic. “Unlike human cleaners, the robots never miss a shift, get tired or ill, or cut corners.” Also, in June, CNN Business wrote “The coronavirus outbreak has led many people to stay home, where they have ample time to stare at dust bunnies, dirt and other detritus stuck on their floors and carpets. That’s great news for Roomba maker iRobot.”
So, if you haven’t jumped on the robo band wagon, it’s not too late. Amazon has an array of roboVACs, roboMOPs AND (wait for it) roboWINDOW cleaners; you’ll feel like you’re in an episode of the Jetsons.