Americans are investing in their backyards and buying more swimming pools. Jeff Flock from FOX Business with more.
Pool parties can be postponed until next summer.
With delivery and production issues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some pool retailers are drowning on reorders and consumers are on waiting lists until March 2021.
Above-ground swimming pools are re-ordered from some retailers until at least 2021 due to production delays due to coronavirus-related downtime. (iStock)
Sheila Berry, who runs her family’s 42-year-old business, Berry Family Pools, in Longview, Texas, has a waiting list of nearly 150 orders, twice as many as last summer before the pandemic. She says production delays and sky-high demand are slowing order fulfillment.
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“It’s a whole different world for us,” Berry told FOX Business. “It’s a waiting game.”
Berry Family Pools counts on Doughboy, a company that sells above-ground swimming pools made in Arkansas. However, due to nationwide shutdowns in mid-March that delayed production, the company’s supply chain was interrupted.
“Due to the high demand for pools, we are severely affected by unforeseen challenges including the lack of raw materials to manufacture products and staff fluctuations due to the COVID-19 virus,” Doughboy wrote in a message to consumers on his website.
Pool manufacturers are waiting for parts to be sold by companies in China and Canada, according to Berry.
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But with the kids at home and the uncertainty surrounding school openings in the fall, homeowners are now looking to invest in pools more than ever. Berry Family Pools charges between $ 5,000 and $ 19,000 for above-ground pools and installations, and Berry says some people are offering to throw up to an additional $ 2,000 to get on the waiting list that she says they will not take.
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“I made a season worth of sales in three months,” she said.
Berry sells an average of up to five swimming pools a day, she said. The company made $ 1 million in the first four months of 2020, what the company typically makes in a full year. Orders rose between March, when the COVID-19 lockdown warrants were issued, through May.
The rising demand was driven by the redesign of summer plans across the country. The pandemic has restricted travel and vacation options, and while restrictions have sporadically eased, most community pools remain closed.
Some beaches are slowly allowing residents to hit the sand again, but local governments are restricting gatherings and emphasizing social distancing guidelines amid fears the virus could recur and lead to yet another economic stalemate.
Because of these developments, swimming pools were the third most searched term on Google in May of this year.
More Americans are also investing in garden furniture. Overstock.com patio furniture sales increased 225 percent year over year since April 1. Outdoor leisure items such as pool and garden items increased by 360 percent in the same period compared to the previous year.
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