Summer is coming, and in many places around the country, quarantine continues. Cooped up kids and worn-out parents will be excited to get outside as much as possible, but public pools, summer camps and other outdoor activities may not be open this summer, which means families are looking for alternative solutions. Backyard fun, including pools, swing sets and outdoor toys, are seeing sales spike as many prepare for summer at home.
Boredom + Hot Weather Equals Upticks In Pool Sales
Emily Vaca, founder of Minnidip, Instagram-friendly inflatable pools, dubbed “adult kiddie pools,” has seen a major increase in sales in late April, primarily in Southern California where temperatures are soaring. Another burgeoning pop-up brand Mylle has also seen significant and unexpected sales growth. “We just had a substantial increase in L.A. orders,” said Mylle founder Kriss Myllenbeck. “We have been a niche brand for an activity most people were only doing on the weekend, and now all of a sudden everyone is home on a Tuesday trying to deal with 90-degree weather.”
In-ground and traditional above-ground pools are also experiencing jumps in sales, especially after neighborhood pools make decisions to close for the summer. After the governor of Kentucky announced that pools would not be opening, Aurora Pools of Lexington sold 100 pools, which is not typical for this early in the summer. “We normally do between 300 and 400 above ground pools and 50 to 70 in grounds [in a typical season]. And this year, we'll do that at least," said Scott Farmer, Owner of Aurora Pools.
For brands experiencing unusual sales volume during quarantine, maintaining connections with consumers via opted-in emails can strengthen brand awareness and deliver increased engagement. By providing strong service, including availability and delivery updates, brands may be in better positions to maintain customer relationships after quarantines are lifted.
Swing Set Sales Soar While Other Brands Find Themselves Playing Catch Up
Between homeschooling and working from home, many parents with backyards are grateful for “recess” and the chance to send little ones outside to play. The cooler the toys on the playground, the more likely kids are to stay outside longer — hopefully. Swingsets & Toy Warehouse in East Hanover, NJ, is experiencing unprecedented sales this spring. According to an article in USA Today, the business “has seen about a 50% increase in sales of outdoor playsets, trampolines and basketball hoops.”
“Usually, families decide to buy swing sets when their children are age-appropriate. But now, I’m seeing even people with very young kids buying,” said Sue Williams, Sales Representative at Swingsets & Toy Warehouse.
The urgency to kit-out backyards with fun toys began early in quarantine with sales of outdoor toys like bounce houses, trampolines and playground sets up 20% in late March. Indoor and educational toys like puzzles and legos also saw sales boosts this year.
Unfortunately, some brands that focus primarily on toys like dolls saw industry-wide declines. However, insiders predict sales of these kinds of traditional toys will increase in the coming months, with Mattel seeing some growth already in the past weeks. It’s likely that once many parents have the things they need for educational entertainment and outdoor play, interest in other toy categories will rise.
During this unprecedented time of shifting consumer behaviors, nurturing relationships with consumers for future sales and upgrades should be a priority. By being authentic and realistic about the products and services they provide, including current availability, brands are more likely to be trusted and stay relevant to consumers after quarantine-related sales cool off.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Sarah Cavill