Popular pandemic products selling quickly
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The early taste of spring weather has many people going outdoors and heading to stores.
But as many retailers and service providers attempt to rebound from lockdown, some are worried whether they will have enough supply to feed the demand for popular pandemic products.
“The staycation is becoming more popular and with the safety of the home resort, everyone’s looking to invest into their backyard around this time, so it’s very busy,” says Angelo Vincent Mariani Jr., part owner of Pools by Angelo.
The company, which also does spa installations, is already booking pool builds into the fall, as well as 2022.
“We’d like to get to everyone unfortunately, things are starting to get a little busy and we’re booking up, but we’re doing our best to accommodate everyone,” Mariani Jr. says.
Outdoor sporting goods retailer Canadian Tire is also gearing up for what they expect to be a flurry of activity this spring.
“We are trying to get things ready as quickly as we can,” says Rebecca Perrin, a store manager at Canadian Tire. “People are itching to buy it.”
Employees at the retailer are building bikes as quickly as possible — to keep up with demand for the pandemic hot commodity. Perrin says there was a rush on new bikes in 2020, and they believe 2021 will follow similar purchasing patterns.
“Everybody was learning how to ride a bike last year, it felt like,” she says.
Other outdoor essentials popular in 2020, like planting seeds, gardening tools and patio sets are expected to sell early.
“People wanted to make sure they got stuff for outside, because that was where their entertaining was,” says Perrin. “That was where they were spending most of their time. And we’re already seeing that people are trying to get those things as early as they can so they are able to get them, as last year, there was a shortage of some stuff.”
That supply shortage — is on high on the mind of Jay Brazeau, co-owner off Happy Days Boat Centre.
“We’ve seen a lot of new people into the industry,” says Brazeau. “They had some pent up vacation money looking to do something locally. You get into a boat, you get a couple of feet off the dock. It feels like you’re on vacation.”
Brazeau tells CTV inventory levels uncharacteristically low for this time of year. He adds that manufacturers and suppliers are adding shifts and in some cases working three full shifts to keep up with demand.
“I’ve got boats on order that are pre-sold, hopefully we get them in time for this weather, yea, it’s been a crazy Winter,” says Brazeau.