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Americans stuck in lockdown are spending on home improvement

Lawnmowers priced at $3,000 are atypical bestsellers in recessions. But sales of the Ariens Ikon XD, featuring 20-inch tires, a V-twin Kawasaki engine and ergonomic plush seat, have surged in the U.S. during the pandemic.

While other industries grapple with a shaky economy, the home improvement business is booming. Home Depot and Lowe’s last week reported historically large rises in quarterly revenues as housebound Americans spend billions of dollars more than usual at the two go-to chains for DIY.

“Most of us are forced to spend more time at home than we ever have in our lifetimes,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chief executive, presenting a 34% jump in like-for-like sales. Customers had been “finding projects around the house” that they either “hadn’t had a chance to get to” or “just didn’t notice” before the lockdown.

Craig Menear, chairman and chief executive of Home Depot, said the pandemic had meant “the

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