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How the Coronavirus may affect furniture sales.

By Elliot J. Nitkin

n my last blog, I examined the possible ways in which the Coronavirus might change people’s use of furniture in a commercial setting. Now I would like to examine possible changes in the home.

There is no doubt that the Coronavirus is having a material impact on the industry.

Sales online are up for furniture as people look around their homes and realize that they need an upgrade. I suppose every cloud has a silver lining.

People may well begin working from home more often, where the distractions of home life abound.

Again, as a recap:

According to the April 29th article “What will Covid-19 mean for commercial real estate?” by Greg Dalgetty, “Since late March, almost 40% of Canadians have been working from home as a result of Covid-19…”

The question is will this continue? He stated that “the CEOs of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have indicated that working from home could be the new normal …”

To start, there is something those who choose to work from home might now be pondering (besides what might be the joys of an empty nest): sound proofing.  People may have to remodel their homes to prevent active kids from interfering in work related activities.

People are also remodeling or building small structures in their backyard to act as a stand alone office.

Given the trend to smaller residences, fold away furniture will be an excellent alternative as furniture pieces may need to serve more than one function, including storage.

I would also imagine that spaces people used predominantly at night will need better lighting. A change in fixtures may be desirable as might opening up window areas to allow in more sunlight.

What about elderly parents?  I know a lot about this issue because my own parents were discharged to home just as the Coronavirus was hitting.

In a report for Jim Berry wrote “(F)ear of viral outbreaks like COVID-19 may prompt (baby boomers) to stay in their current homes longer. It is possible that demand for senior living assets could dampen ... It is also possible that senior-living facilities could prove they are best able to handle viral outbreaks, accelerating demand.”

There are a number of “if’s” in there, but I can say from personal experience that the psychological comfort one’s parents can get from living at home not to mention the ease of care for familial care givers is immense.

There are many issues to consider for those who might need in-home health care.

Rooms may have to be adjusted to accommodate care equipment like wheelchair access and lift mechanisms and furniture placed with room for a care aid to maneuver.

Bedrooms can experience the greatest impact. If one member of a couple is in a wheelchair, they will need room for a lifting mechanism and a special bed that can go up and down, like a hospital bed. 

This may require two new beds. A lifestyle bed is great for those who do not need a hospital bed. Watching TV or reading is easier.

They will need storage room/shelves for medical supplies so that caregivers have ease of access to care items.

Space may need to be created to account for adjustable tables that slide over beds and come down to allow a person to sit and read, have a place for snacks or to take medicines.

Space between beds is an important consideration as the more room first responders have the easier is their job.

And then of course there is the physical dislocation from each other after decades of being together that can be profound. To be unable to hold your love’s hand is no small thing.

A comfortable bedside chair can be a very caring object.

I am interested in your incites.

Individual Commonality

I am thrilled to invite you to my latest online art show “Individual Commonality”.  Through an essay and art show, I am exploring how we can find common ground to redefine our sense of community through acknowledging our individuality.