The global pandemic brought on by the novel coronavirus that emerged out of China in December has decimated almost all sectors of the economy. However, one industry hopes to buck that trend, especially with summer just around the corner.
Furniture sales are predicted to grow this year, particularly in outdoor furniture, spurred on by stay-at-home orders which are forcing people to spend more time in their houses and apartment buildings. The result of this is that people could be spending more money on items such as a Japanese floor sofa, to make their living environments feel more comfortable.
Indeed, NBC news is reporting that online furniture retailer, Wayfair, is seeing a boom in sales already. Despite retail figures at a record low in April overall, Wayfair saw furniture sales increase by 20 percent in the first quarter of 2020, with its number of customers jumping by almost 30 percent.
“In the short term, we have generally seen increased sales and order activity and lower advertising costs in the market since the COVID-19 outbreak,” said the company in a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
But it might not just be Wayfair profiting from the new reality. As travel restrictions remain in place, people are likely to spend more time close to home this summer. The result is that more people will be expected to buy outdoor furniture.
This trend will come as good news to a buoyant furniture sector. The industry posted 6% growth in 2019 with consumer spending on bedding, in particular, up 2.8 percent, to an estimated $12.1 billion.
As CNBC reports, furniture and home goods retailers are seeing a huge spike in sales of outdoor furniture, along with other outdoor items such as BBQs and gardening tools.
With that in mind, savvy customer will have taken advantage of this week’s Memorial Day Sales, where companies like Walmart and Overstock.com have shifted huge volumes of outdoor furniture. And the growth was not only seen online. With lockdown measures being relaxed in some US states, the Tupelo Furniture Market, in Mississippi, is once again open to the public.
As a safety precaution, it has implemented extra safety precautions, such as hand sanitizers and restrictions on the number of people who can enter the market, as well as a requirement for people to wear face masks while in the market. But even with these precautions, it is a good sign for a buoyant industry.