Latest research conducted by Love Home Swap, a members-only, global home-sharing platform, has revealed how Brits took to DIY during lockdown, resulting in a surge in demand for the home retail sector that is expected to continue as people look to improve their living environment.
More than three quarters of respondents said they spent time improving their home in lockdown which is reflected by the 200% increase in online sales cited by homeware stores during the same period.
Half of those surveyed had improved and tidied up their garden and a quarter had made renovations to furnishings inside their home or cosmetic change to décor. Around one in 10 had gone further and made significant improvements to their outdoor space with decking or a summer house during lockdown. Whilst almost 10% had decided to purchase high value items for their home such as a pizza oven. To accommodate their new way of living, one in ten respondents said they had added a home office and 8% a home gym.
Results from the survey also suggest that rather than just a lockdown fad, this new interest in home improvement is here to stay as Brits are now looking at their homes in a different light. The survey uncovered that more than half of all the respondents agreed that they are looking to improve their work / life balance in the long-term, with a significant 45% agreeing that assessing their work / life balance has made them look for more ‘leisure value’ from their homes.
Célia Pronto, Managing Director, Love Home Swap said: “What these results indicate is a real step-change in behaviour that will have a lasting impact on consumers’ perception of their homes as well as their potential future spending. We think this will continue as consumers look for ways to maximise the value and enjoyment they get from their home and that this change in outlook will not only affect the retail space – but also impact the growing sharing economy. Our global platform offers our community the opportunity to save money on travel, as well as extract further value from their homes. Home swapping is a trend that has been in consistent double-digit growth over the past few years, and we had a hunch that the pandemic would accelerate that shift as people look to use their property to improve their lifestyles.
“The retail market is already seeing the positive impact endure, as homeware retailers reported a significant rise in like-for-like sales in July as lockdown eased. This is an exciting and interesting trend that businesses can use to capture the imagination of consumers in a new way.”