Home improvement sales are holding steady despite the overall retail slump

Bryn Behrenshausen has been using his time during North Carolina’s stay-at-home order, and his government stimulus money, to upgrade his home.

“So I’m going through and repainting all the doors and trim,” he said. “Eventually we’ll be repainting all the walls. I’ve been doing landscaping. I built our own sofa.”

He’s also replacing all the carpet on the second story with vinyl flooring. At home it’s just him, his wife and “believe it or not, five cats. They’re the impetus for the carpet removal,” he said.

Retail sales took a stunning blow in April. Clothing sales, for instance, were down almost 80%. But one category that’s holding fairly steady is home improvement, which saw only a small dip in sales, down 3.5%. A report from Gravy Analytics, which tracks location data, shows foot traffic at those stores is steady. 

“A lot of it is people itching to get out, people having time, people looking for something to do and remain focused,” said Rod Sides, who is a vice chairman at Deloitte and leads its U.S. retail and distribution practice. Being classified as essential retail helped the industry, he added.

Scroll to Top