Retail

Sales Of Outdoor Furniture, Decor Up As US Consumers Plan Staycations

People are spending more money on outdoors items

The coronavirus has made it likely that this summer will look very different from summers past, and rising sales of outdoor furniture and pool, grill and gardening equipment signify that.

Ron Hilton, chief sourcing and operations officer for Overstock.com, reported that the sales of those items have gone up —likely as a way to make time stuck closer to home “more meaningful,” as the pandemic has essentially rendered the travel and tourism industry moot for the time being, CNBC reported.

Hilton said Overstock.com usually sees a spike in sales around springtime as the days get warmer, but this year’s sales far outpaced most others, particularly around the time when the stimulus checks hit. He said there were also more sales for compact cafe-like seating and coverings that one could set up on an apartment balcony.

Bed Bath & Beyond also saw an uptick in sales for outdoor furniture, as well as for cooking items, outdoor lighting and gardening tools, according to Joe Hartsig, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, who said people just want to “get outside and embrace the outdoor spaces they have as much as possible.”

Bed Bath & Beyond, evolving in the times of the pandemic, has converted much of its sales base to digital, converting 25 percent of its stores into regional fulfillment centers to handle the surge in online deliveries.

And while the expensive vacations to populated, beloved world tourism centers might not be a good idea this summer, people will likely be making road trips to appreciate the natural world.

Adam Sacks, president of the Tourism Economics research firm, said travel would likely target destinations one can drive to in a car, rather than flights or cruises.

A survey from MMGY Travel Intelligence in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association reported 47 percent of respondents saying they’d be more likely to take a car to go somewhere this summer. The destinations are likely to be anywhere from national parks to modern “glamping” alternatives with ritzy, expensive rented trailers to take on the road.

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