It’s not just banana bread, pineapple beer and facemasks. Over 60 days in, and the COVID-19 lockdown has South Africans taking on DIY projects of all kinds. As we head into level 3 of lockdown where South Africans are urged to continue isolating at home unless absolutely necessary to head out, the DIY trend will inevitably continue.
“Spending more time at home than ever before means that you start noticing the things that need fixing or changing,” says Arjun Khoosal, co-Founder of South Africa’s largest online home services marketplace, Kandua.com. “While you can still call out essential services such as locksmiths, plumbers and electricians during level 3 of the lockdown for critical maintenance and repairs, and you can plan for bigger projects that need an expert, you may want to take other matters into your own hands.”
“Just before the lockdown, we saw a massive increase in sales of paint for instance,” says Claudia Krishna of Leroy Merlin, the French hardware retailer that has recently opened stores across Gauteng. “When we reopened our doors to the public on the 1st of May under level four, we had a tremendous response from the public and a marked uptick in sales of interior paint, including products for furniture restoration, decorative and organisational products, tools and garden products,”
This is in line with trends seen elsewhere in the world. People are making changes to their homes to make working from home more comfortable, taking on projects big and small that they have been putting off, or engaging in activities like gardening that provide a creative and stress-relieving outlet. Both Kandua and Leroy Merlin have found ways to support their customers with these pursuits.
“For many of us DIY is new territory. But as Kandua, we have over 9 000 experts in all kinds of trades on our platform. So, we decided to connect our Pros to customers through our new DIY coach service. This gives you one-to-one coaching over the phone for any kind of DIY issue from a real expert – from fixing a leaky tap or a flickering light, to mowing your lawn the right way. At the same time, this helps the independent professionals and small businesses on Kandua to keep at their trade during this time,” adds Khoosal.
Leroy Merlin has been posting easy DIY projects under their “Make It” logo on their Facebook page. “These quick DIY projects were designed for customers to utilise leftover materials or with low investment. These little projects have proved to be quite popular in keeping oneself occupied. Customers still feel that they need some guidance on repair projects, however, and that’s where Kandua’s DIY Coach is effective,” adds Krishna.
“Our DIY video guides have also been very popular,” says Krishna. “These step-by-step guides can help anyone from a novice to a DIY guru, and includes a full list of everything you need.”