SOUTHINGTON — Home improvement has flourished during the pandemic as homeowners are looking to upgrade.
A pair of Southington businesses, Dean’s Stove and Spa and Superior Hearth and Spas, have been busy since the pandemic started as customers try make their homes more comfortable.
“The hearth industry, as a whole, is seeing records sales numbers this year the likes of which have not been seen since 2008,” said Bruno Ferreira, of Dean’s Stove and Spa. “We’ve seen up-ticks in sales of all outdoor product as well as spa sales. The hearth side of our business has seen the largest growth this year as people are spending more time at home.”
Ferreira’s duties include customer service, marketing and business development.
He said at the beginning of the pandemic in March, Dean’s had 65 hot tubs in stock and all were sold within a month and a half.
“People are working from home and have money burning a hole in their pockets that they would usually use towards a vacation,” Ferreira said. “Now they are surrounded by their homes and want to make their property and homes more comfortable. Our industry has seen a huge up-tick in sales for both indoors and outdoors.”
Ferreira said customers have turned to hearths since temperatures have dropped, prior to that they were interested in outdoor products.
“When the pandemic first hit, customers still wanted to interact with friends outdoors and one of our huge keys was the introduction of wood fire pizza ovens,” he said. “They were able to create an atmosphere, an oasis, in their backyards to entertain friends and family and still being socially distanced. outdoors.”
Ferreira said the company is currently staffing for an expanded Dean’s Outdoor Living, a town staple for more than four decades, and plan to open it before the weather warms up. That building will be across the street from their 120 W. Main Street location in Plantsville.
“We’ve gotten so much demand on our outdoor program that we are busting at the seams,” Ferreira said.
In Milldale, Superior Hearth, Spas & Leisure, 1457 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, has also seen a vast increase in business.
General manager Kameron Mattig said hot tubs have been popular.
“We’ve seen a shift in people focusing on their back yards and making an investment because of everyone being home,” Mattig said. “We have an eight month wait for a custom hot tub. But we have quite a few in stock. So we do have some available. We have hot tubs and patio heaters ready to go and that’s been a good thing for our business.”
Mattig said he anticipated store closings and layoffs when the pandemic first hit last year, but it’s been the opposite for his business.
“We have less foot traffic, but we’ve been doing sales over the phone and through email,” Mattig said. “We have hot tubs purchased over the phone. Customers are happy we have products available. It’s a big purchase. It’s something you will have for 20 years, so waiting a couple months isn’t that bad.”
Superior Hearth, Spas & Leisure, which has been in Southington for more than three decades, also has patio heaters and outdoor fire tables, both popular choices.
“We are placing huge orders we aren’t used to and we are selling out fast,” Mattig said. “We want to be more conservative with our orders, but it’s nice to see people making those investments in their yards again.”