A number of governors – including those of our most populous states – have closed all but “essential” businesses in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Fortunately for the construction industry, most governors have included lumberyards and hardware stores as among those businesses classified as essential. In many cases, owners and industry associations have pushed to keep these business open due to such factors as:
- the large number of people employed by the industry – not only by lumberyards and other retail outlets, but also in the construction industry as a whole
- the key role lumberyards play in ensuring that construction materials can reach contractors and other construction professionals
- the broad range of products offered by these stores – many of them carry items essential to health and safety, such as cleaning supplies, waste receptacles, toilet paper, and wipes, as well as items needed to maintain a house, which become more important as consumers are told to stay at home
- the ability of stores to deliver goods while minimizing contact – such as by limiting hours, arranging for curbside pickup and delivery, or by coordinating deliveries when few people are at job sites
Indeed, as state and local authorities increasingly consider erecting temporary medical facilities or converting existing structures (such as college dormitories) into sites for housing coronavirus patients, demand for building materials is expected to climb: proving that the nation’s lumberyards, hardware stores, and other construction products retailers are “essential”.
For more information, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive research on the construction & building products industries. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.