This story first appeared at sister publication Casual News Now.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to shelter at home for much of last year, many of us began looking around our spaces, realizing we wanted to make changes and upgrades. And we all know what happened next—unprecedented demand for everything for the home from sofas to swimming pools.
But how long will that demand continue? A recent report by data company Earnest examined how the home industry has grown over the past year-plus since COVID to determine what we can expect for the coming year.
According to the report, home spending growth in Q2 2021 accelerated five-fold to 50% when the pandemic began, but has now slowed to 30%—though it’s still above pre-COVID levels of 10%.
How consumers shop is evolving, as well. Prior to the pandemic, more than 80% of home industry sales came from traditional brick-and-mortars—a figure that dropped to 75% when the pandemic began, but is now trending back up.
Several home furnishings retailers reported growth in new customers, as well. Over half the shoppers at Ashley Furniture, La-Z-Boy, Floor & Decor, and Overstock.com were new in Q2 2021 and Q2 2020. Wayfair, on the other hand, has slowed considerably from last year; and just 30% are new shoppers today vs. 45% last year. About 15% of Wayfair customers also shopped at HomeGoods, Bed Bath & Beyond, and IKEA in Q2 2021, up from 10% in Q2 202o. Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and The Container Store have the same [small] level of overlap as they did in Q2 202o.
While vaccines continue to roll out and nearly two-thirds of Americans have received at least one shot, a new surge in cases from the Delta variant is driving the reintroduction of mask mandates and other restrictions. Coupled with continuing supply chain disruptions, material shortages and labor shortfalls, the remainder of 2021 and early 2022 may be uncertain. But whether lockdowns return or people resume life as usual, the demand for outdoor living spaces is sure to continue.