More people spending money in new ways amid COVID-19 pandemic

More people spending money in new ways amid COVID-19 pandemic

As the pandemic took hold earlier this year during the spring and summer, it was difficult to find a pool or hot tub to buy. Now the big sellers are fireplaces, pianos and snowmobiles.

“July and August sales have gone through the roof and each month after have been a record for us,” Alan Merriam, the president of Merriam Pianos, said. 

The pandemic has meant hard times for many businesses, but others have benefited as consumers changed their spending habits.

Many people are not traveling, dining out, going to concerts or taking part in sporting events, which means some people still have money to spend. 

During the pandemic many people who used to play piano have taken it up again and parents are buying pianos for their children to learn. 

Sales at many piano stores have jumped 30 per cent this year.

“We have a lot of people pursuing music right now and part of that is buying an instrument,” Merriam said.

A new survey by Moneris finds consumers want to make purchases that will make their lives more comfortable during the pandemic. 

“Staying closer to your family is really an outcome of COVID-19,” said Bruce Nanton, the chief operations officer of Moneris. 

In the household category, fireplace stores saw a 22 per cent increase in sales over last year, appliance stores, a 27 per cent increase and furniture stores a 20 per cent increase. 

“People realize they are going to be at home for a while now so they are doing home improvements or things that are going to be attributable to family time,” Nanton said.

It’s not just spending inside the home, many people spent the summer golfing, getting back into motorcycle riding and soon snowmobiles may be hard to find. 

Earlier this year, bicycle shops saw a 51 per cent increase in sales, golf courses 44 per cent increase, boats 32 per cent increase, motorcycles a 22 per cent increase and snowmobile sales have already jumped 18 per cent.

Whether it’s hitting the trails or practicing piano, many people want things to help them through the pandemic.

“People are looking for soul satisfying activities that bring them joy, that bring them comfort and a sense of satisfaction. That’s what people want right now,” Merriam said.

No matter what you’re buying, online shopping is expected to be the choice for most people leading up to the holidays. 

Moneris predicts that Black Friday, which is November 27, will be the busiest shopping day of the year.