PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The coronavirus pandemic has kept everyone cooped up for months, and now that people are venturing out of the house again, spending some time outdoors has become the safest option in the “new normal.”
Paul Cox, director of store operations for Ocean State Job Lot, tells Eyewitness News that kiddie pools and inflatable pools have been in high demand.
“What’s happened in the first half of this summer… exceeded our wildest dreams,” Cox said. “Since COVID came along and people started realizing that travel would be limited and there would be more time at home, there was this effort to put what you’d spend on vacation to invest in your backyard.”
Cox said usually it can be easy to help customers find the items they’re looking for by sending them to another location, but some summer items are in high demand across the board.
“I think pools are going to be a hard one to find,” he said. “I think it got gobbled up faster than anyone of us thought. I think you’d be lucky if you found one. A lot of the items that surround pools, like inflatables, we still have a lot of those.”
It’s not just pools that are in high demand, Cox said. Patio chairs and fire pits are also hot commodities. He said customers should keep in mind that they’re not the only ones looking for these items.
Cox also said air conditioners have been flying off the shelves, especially since many people are still working from home.