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COVID-19 Providing Shed Industry Bump?

(Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash)

When states began shutting down businesses and posting stay-at-home orders to combat the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the economy took an understandable dive. 

Some businesses have closed, and many are still struggling to stay afloat.

However, for some shed builders and dealers, the pandemic seems to have contributed to increased sales.

Across the industry, Bradley Kimberlin, general manager at Colorado Shed Company, has heard that April shed sales “have been fantastic.”

“Almost everyone is commenting that it is a month of record sales in April,” he shares.

That’s the case for Kenneth Miller, founder of Classic Buildings based in Missouri.

“April 2020 beat all of our prior sales records, and the icing on the cake is that it was accomplished with fewer locations and sales staff,” he says. “We sense that it comes largely from people being stuck at home so they decided to order a shed.

“On a personal side, although this COVID-19 is a mess, I am blessed to see families spending more time at home.” 

Tyler Mayhan, general manager of Oklahoma-based Better Barns, also says his company had record sales in April that seem to be staying strong into May.

“I believe that a great many of our customers finally found the time to get some projects done during the shutdown, and some of those projects included a shed or other outbuilding,” he concurs with Miller. 

“The stimulus checks also impacted sales. A great many of our customers never missed a day of work, so the stimulus checks were just ‘extra’ money.”

Charles Hutchins, president and CEO of Shed ‘N Carport Pro, a dealer in Radcliff, Kentucky, has been seeing the same trend.

“I’ve had a tremendous increase in sales during the COVID-19 period,” he says. “It seems that people are spending their stimulus and unemployment checks on sheds, garages and carports.”

Kimberlin also seems to see a trend of people investing in their home location versus spending money going out to eat, shopping, etc.

“A lot of people are looking for a shed for backyard projects. I’m hearing comments like ‘I’m home and have time to clean out my garage, so I need somewhere to put all the stuff.’”

“I also think that people are spending more money on sheds and other outdoor items due to limited travel, eating out and simply suffering from ‘cabin fever,’” adds Hutchins.

“My playsets and poly-furniture have been extremely popular, as well as families are seeking entertainment right in their backyard.

“Spending money is comforting to folks during these challenging times.” 

Kimberlin says he has also seen an industrywide spike in greenhouse and chicken coop interest.

Scott Vallie, owner of Huntsville Portable Buildings & Carports, a dealer in Texas, has been surprised by the uptick in business.

“When this virus thing first started, all I could see were massive amounts of repos coming to me,” he says. “I figured people would cut back with job losses and such, but the opposite has actually occurred. Building sales have been very solid and steady since this virus kicked off. 

“The only thing I can attribute this to is the massive amount of time people are spending on social media. Our Facebook page has seen an increase in volume in past weeks.”

He says internet shopping has become the new normal of building sales. 

“We’ve been selling buildings online to customers over 200 miles from us, but even more impressive is the amount of carports/RV ports and steel buildings that have sold in the past weeks,” shares Vallie.  

“For us, I think Graceland has seen this uptick and to capitalize on it further, they announced a couple of sales that should increase overall sales to the end of the month.”

“I think it’s been primarily positive from what I’ve seen,” Kimberlin observes. “I have not talked to anyone in states that had strict shutdowns, but for everybody that had a state where they could keep working, sales went up not down. 

“Customer morale seems to be that this is going to pass, and I might as well get some of these projects done while I have time.”

Some builders even think the sales boost will continue into the summer.

“We do expect it to continue as a down economy generally boosts shed sales,” Miller says.

“My expectation, which doesn’t include any psychic readings, is that we will continue to see results from the stimulus checks over the next couple months,” adds Mayhan. “I don’t expect it to be quite as busy as April, but at least somewhat more than usual.” 


Shed-Building Industry and COVID-19, April 2, 2020

Shed Builder Suppliers and COVID-19, April 28, 2020

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