Back to school in the midst of a pandemic: home study furniture more popular than ever

Advertising campaigns in connection with the start of the school year, decoration advice for study spaces at home: furniture retailers are visibly adapting to the demand of customers who are preparing for an extraordinary return to class.

Stationery and school supply stores are not the only ones taking advantage of the approach of back to school to boost their sales. COVID-19 has prompted many Quebecers to equip themselves to be well installed to work at home, and many parents want to do the same for their children, whether it is to home school or in anticipation certain courses that could be given online.

On the web and social networks, retailers such as Structube, Bouclair, Meubles RD or Ameublement Tanguay broadcast such messages, accompanied by photos of desks, chairs, lamps or workspaces.

GABRIELLE MORIN-LEFEBVRE / 24 HOURS / QMI AGENCY

GABRIELLE MORIN-LEFEBVRE / 24 HOURS / QMI AGENCY

This is also the case for Bestar, a furniture manufacturer located in the Eastern Townships, which noticed the keen interest of customers in April. “We have an overall increase of 20% on our portfolio which is linked to the return to school since June compared to the same period of the previous year”, underlined Martin Tardif, vice-president of business development and products at Bestar.

Some items are particularly popular. “If we take an office chair, last year we sold a hundred; there, we sold a thousand of them, ”he said.

COURTESY

The closure of schools at the start of lockdown prompted everyone to want to equip themselves at the same time, causing demand to temporarily outstrip supply. “We really see a very alert consumer, but who is in a period when there are a lot of stockouts everywhere, therefore faster and with a demand for the same offer”, noted Mr. Tardif.

Decoration

Homeschooling will remain in the life of parents for some time to come. In the 2020 back-to-school plan unveiled on Monday by the Ministry of Education, we learn in particular that children with symptoms similar to COVID-19 will have to stay at home while waiting to have a negative test result.

This is why, beyond the desk and the chair, retailers also rely on decorating tips to make the study place an attractive place for the child. On the Ameublement Tanguay website, there are blog articles on this subject.

COURTESY

“Our website is getting bigger and performing very well. We are always trying to increase our number and our product offering to serve the entire population of Quebec as much as possible, ”explained Charles Tanguay, vice-president of sales and finance for the company.

The latter plans to unveil new products related to the school in the coming months. “We hope that the start of the school year will be safe and that everyone will be well equipped on time,” he said.

Janelle B. Smith

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