As Covid-19 swept the globe in March, many businesses entered fight or flight mode as the pandemic wrought sudden, sweeping change on the market environment:
- Essential businesses like mass retailers and manufacturing facilities had new safety and sanitation guidelines to consider, while non-essential businesses, including bars and sit-down restaurants, were forced to either adapt or shut down, many for good.
- Unemployment soared and consumer spending sank, roiling markets and causing major global economies to slide into recession.
- Though construction activity was able to continue uninterrupted for the most part, investment dried up, causing many commercial building projects to stall even as residential building construction spending spiked.
Things have returned to some semblance of normal in the months since May as many economies gradually reopened. While the vaccine distribution has become a beacon of hope that the pandemic will soon be behind; once again, Covid-19 cases are resurging and the threat of more lockdowns grows.
Research has uncovered a number of areas staying afloat amid the pandemic, some expected — like the continued shift from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce — and others less obvious, like the boom in residential renovations.
Flurry of Renovation Activity Boosts Demand for Home Improvement Products
Spending more time at home than ever before, homeowners have been addressing at-home repairs and putting the money saved on canceled trips and vacations toward home improvements.
Exterior Renovations Expected to Rise in 2021, Benefiting Wood-Look Siding & Fencing
The outlook for home improvement projects in 2021 is expected to remain positive as interior projects such as kitchen and bath renovations remain strong and exterior projects, such as replacement of siding and fencing, begins to climb.
Staycationing Homeowners Bolster Sales of Pools & Outdoor Living Products
Already a fast-growing market, outdoor living got a boost during the pandemic from staycationing homeowners with extra cash on hand due to canceled vacation plans. Stuck at home this summer, these consumers flooded pool and spa retailers with more orders than they could keep up with, and sales of products like outdoor furniture, heating products, and kitchen equipment that increase the coziness of pool/spa areas and other outdoor spaces saw a bump, as well.
Going forward, outdoor living products are expected to remain popular for home renovations, and while demand is often highly seasonal, staycationing trends are likely to stay strong beyond the pandemic, as travel and tourism economies face a protracted recovery.
Plumbing Products Demand Bolstered by Bath Renovations, Hygiene/Sanitation Concerns
Bath renovations have always been popular with homeowners, even more so during the pandemic. An increased focus on hygiene and sanitation has driven demand for high-tech touchless fixtures, particularly in bathroom spaces.
Despite the decreased activity in most nonresidential building construction segments due to the pandemic, however, spending on bath renovations in some commercial buildings is also rising — particularly public-facing establishments like offices, restaurants, schools and universities, and travel facilities, as they retrofit for Covid-19 safety — which is supporting demand for plumbing products.