Stuck at home with limited options for entertainment and leisure activities, Romanians turned to DIY and home improvements during the two-month lockdown, a study shows.
With travel banned, parks closed, malls, cinemas and offices shut to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the only places with open doors from March to mid-May were supermarkets, pharmacies and DIY stores such as Dedeman, Hornbach, Leroy Merlin and Bricostore.
With television the main source of entertainment, Romanians turned their attention to their homes. Many bought houses and apartments more than a decade ago during an economic boom when banks started offering loans to ordinary people.
Back then, homeowners bought plasma TVs, modern fridges, cookers and washing machines and new furniture.
But the pandemic has proved the perfect time to repair and renovate, Frames consulting company said in a report released Tuesday. Sales figures are up by one-fourth and the business will be worth 35 billion lei this year, the consultancy company said.
“Staying at home, Romanians began to look at the state of where they live, regardless of whether it’s an apartment or a house with a garden, said Adrian Negrescu, the manager of Frames. “From the bathroom not working, to problems with floor and wall tiles, old electrical appliances or worn-out furniture, many Romanians decided to invest in upgrading their homes during this period of confinement,” he said.
,,Whether we’re talking about washable paint, in different colors, fitted carpets, a better parquet floor, a better central heater, a more modern shower, a new washbasin, or a new bathtub, these are the main things that people renovated in this period.”
He said that consumers looked first for quality rather than price, according to the Eastern European Construction Forecasting Association.
Frames said that consumers directed spending away from fashion and cosmetics to DIY, with sales up one-fourth compared to 2019.
Frames said that in the past, price was the main factor, but furniture and electrical appliances rapidly deteriorated “regardless of whether we are talking about a parquet floor, furniture, beds and tables.”
The DIY sector employs about 57,000 people, 17,000 more than a decade ago.