Even if tourism is slowly starting up again: Many vacation trips fall through the water because of the Corona crisis. If you can afford it, you can dress up your own garden instead. Garden furniture, hammocks or even a pool – some manufacturers are seeing increased demand right now.
However, even in this industry, not every queue means a huge turnover.
Riviera Pool in Geeste in Emsland is one of the leading German manufacturers of prefabricated swimming pools. The family business with around 200 employees has been in business for a long time, since 1964. Marketing manager Uwe Rengers has said over the past few weeks: “It’s a little crazy now.”
Orders have doubled
Riviera Pool, the public area – pools on ships and in hotels – broke away as a customer due to corona. “First of all, it’s ebb.” But the demand for it from private customers is significantly higher. This becomes particularly clear with the so-called compact pools, small swimming pools about two by four meters in a price category of 15,000 to 20,000 euros. According to Rengers, around 50 of these were last ordered in a week, almost twice as many as usual. And more of the large pools were also sold from the beginning of January to the end of April, 269 instead of 259 – although the crisis in acquisition with exhibitions and days of action pulled the plug.
For the first time, the company has to use external freight forwarders to collect the pools because its own vehicle fleet is busy. “That’s crazy,” says Rengers. “There is still enough money there. People gild their homes. “
Sales of hammocks are increasing significantly
Cornelius Grisar has something similar to report about La Siesta. The managing director says that the online business of the hammock manufacturer from Rheinhessen has tripled since the crisis broke out. This could compensate for losses from stationary retail. Compared to the same month last year, sales in April even jumped 85 percent. “In April 2020 we recorded the best sales in our 29-year company history, and we assume that we will top the new record again in June.”
The high demand also has structural effects. For example, La Siesta remodeled its warehouse at short notice and introduced night shifts. “The big challenge for us is to keep contact restrictions among employees despite the increased demand, and that is proving to be a difficult task,” says Grisar. There are also delivery bottlenecks, especially for products that are manufactured in India .
For Grisar, the longing for the hammock in times of crisis is not a new insight. “If the economy and people are not doing well, our product receives increased attention and demand,” he says. Sooner or later, however, the situation will level off again. Next year, La Siesta will probably be back at the previous year’s level.
An assessment shared by pool expert Rengers. “We can well imagine that there will be a dent at some point. Despite all the euphoria, we have to be realistic, ”he says.
Despite customer queues: DIY stores do not generate higher sales
In contrast, many customers will have to queue in front of the hardware stores this spring. The queues outside did not automatically mean that the cash register would also ring inside, emphasizes the Hagebau chain from Soltau. Sales increases compared to the previous year have not yet been determined. However: In addition to seasonal items such as plants, soil and barbecue accessories, renovation products such as paints, brushes and spatulas are currently in greater demand.
“We are currently assuming that many people will not go on vacation this year – and instead beautify their own home,” says von Hagebau. “This may result in a catch-up effect, so that at the end of the year we will probably be able to generate sales as we planned for this year last year.” If travel behavior normalizes again, demand will also increase reflect.