LAC LA BICHE - Work from home, kids at home, stay at home … fix the home. Hardware stores across the region are continuing to see an increase in customers looking at home-based improvement projects as the pandemic persists.
Over the last several months both Venture Home Hardware in Lac La Biche, and Plamondon Co-op, Hardware and Agro have been selling more items like paint, lumber, and flooring as people are spending more time at home because of lockdowns, job losses, and working remotely.
Nicola Watson, the home and agro supervisor at Plamondon Co-op, says that although customers are buying more accessories, decor and new paint to spruce up their homes, there has also been a big increase in projects to make home-life more sustainable.
“I think people are getting more into sustainability at home with the chicken coops, gardens, and greenhouses we are selling a lot more this past year because a lot of people are gearing more towards staying home,” said Watson.
Being at home more means residents are seeing the small things they can do to improve their living spaces - projects that have been put off for years are now priorities, she says.
“If you’re going to be stuck at home all of the time, you might as well look at something beautiful,” she said. “They are noticing that they keep putting off that deck, and they might as well fix it because they will be walking on it 20 times a day, or they might as well paint that wall, or redecorate their kid's bedrooms. They’re just trying to stay busy.”
The manager at Home Hardware in Lac La Biche, Devin Tardif, said that there has been a big spike in paint sales for the 2020 year. According to Tardif, they have sold more paint this past year than they’ve sold in any point of the 35 years they have been in business, so much so that they could barely keep it on the shelves.
“Especially during the first lockdown, we couldn’t keep up with paint, we were sold out of paint for months on the stained side for decks,” said Tardif. “We were so empty on shelves that we had a hard time getting them back full.”
So will the renovation trend continue as long as the COVID-19 pandemic does?
Tardif says that what people will be buying in the upcoming year is a guessing game for the local hardware store owners, but he wouldn’t be surprised if cheap and effective renovation projects, like painting, continue to remain popular as people are spending more time at home.