Trendland and many other sites that look at art and culture have reported on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted tastes and trends. In some cases, these changes are enforced, whereas for others, the pandemic has simply nudged us into a new way of doing things. While few politicians and experts are claiming that we are at the end of the pandemic – or if there will ever truly be an end –there is light at the end of the tunnel. As such, many are wondering which trends will stay and which will change.
These trends leading to lasting changes can be simple things. For example, a survey conducted by the BBC and King’s College of London found that 40% of people surveyed intended to walk more in a post-pandemic world, whereas 31% claimed they would shop more locally – quite the statement in an era of Amazonification of retail. The Guardian, meanwhile, reported on people picking up instruments, learning to play for the first time during lockdown. You would imagine that’s something that will ‘stick’ with many of them after the pandemic has subsided.
Home Improvement Sales Soar
But an interesting area to look at involves DIY. In North America and much of Europe, many of us have turned to home improvements during the last year. This is borne out in the statistics, with US-based companies like Home Depot reporting huge surges in sales. The same goes for other US companies likes Lowe’s, as well as British firms like B&Q. The numbers tell us that more of us are trying our hand at home improvements.
Before looking at what might happen next, let’s briefly look at the why. The simple answer is that as many of us are stuck at home with nothing better to do, we naturally turn towards wanting to improve the space around us. It’s easy to paint a picture, for example, of someone thrust into working from home for the first time and understanding that they want to convert an unused bedroom into a home office.
And yet, other elements are less obvious. For instance, there is some evidence that home improvements are carried out because there is more wear and tear on products. In the simplest terms, you are more likely to break your toilet or fridge door over the last year because you have been spending more time at home. Obviously, things like home warranty coverage mean you wouldn’t have to repair them yourself. But, as you can see in this Advanced Home Warranty review, there are many things in the average household that can – and will – break. And, as not all will be covered by warranty, it is understandable that people will try their hand at fixing things.
Another school of thought looks back to the earlier days of the pandemic. If you remember the reports of people singing on balconies, people tackling difficult books like War and Peace or the dreaded Zoom quiz, much of that has disappeared. An article in The Atlantic dealt with this phenomenon and how it might naturally lead to pursuing more concrete activity – like home improvement.
Some Predict DIY Boom Will Subside
Now, to the pertinent question: Will it last? Going back to those sales figures reported by Home Depot, it was interesting to note at the time (November 2020) the firm’s stock price dropped by 3% around the same time. One reason given was that the gains made by DIY chains during the pandemic were “aren’t sustainable”. Of course, financial analysts aren’t always right, but you can see the argument here. During the pandemic, people had more time and the will to do these projects. If we return to ‘normal’, it’s fair to assume that the DIY projects will be put aside.