One statistic of note from the May 2020 monthly retail sales release was the sharp increase in sales from such retail establishments as building materials suppliers and lawn and garden retailers. These segments posted sales increases that were up over 15% from April to May 2020. More interestingly, on a year-by-year basis, retail sales by building materials suppliers and lawn and garden retailers were up over 17% compared to 2019.
While some of this is due to the normal pickup in building construction activity in spring as the weather improves, this sharp increase in sales is also due to:
- an uptick in DIY projects – many people took advantage of time spent at home to engage in long-delayed home improvement projects such as adding decks, rearranging rooms into home gyms or home offices, and painting walls
- the declaration by many state and local governments of construction as an “essential” industry, allowing most – if not all – projects to continue going forward (albeit at a reduced pace due to social distancing and the more frequent sanitizing of tools and equipment)
- homeowner interest in investing in their living space to better entertain themselves, such as by installing pools and spas, decks, and other outdoor amenities
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.