But in April, she realized that she had the opposite problem: Orders had started pouring in. Schauffler told me the company’s sales are up 400 percent over last year, and her best sellers—sheets of peel-and-stick white subway “tiles” and metallic mosaics—had completely sold out twice already. “Everyone was at home, they had time, they looked at their environment, and they went online,” she said. They started watching tutorials and ordering supplies.
Home Depot and Lowe’s registered monster sales increases not long after the pandemic began, both on the internet and in their brick-and-mortar stores—which Home Depot lobbied local governments to label essential businesses. That’s in spite of interruptions in residential construction and professional remodeling in many areas of the country.
At Apartment Therapy, a website about home improvement and design, editor in chief Laura Schocker viewed the country’s pandemic anxieties through the prism of her readership, which is 60 percent