Anyone else get a Carly Simon song that pops in their head when they read that title… Anticipation?
Sorry, I was raised by a Carly Simon fan, but I am sure there are a lot you who have no idea what song I am talking about.
Anyway, we will all be dancing when spring finally sticks around for good, and hopefully the dancing will be a little more upbeat than the song I mentioned. At Home Central we always enter spring with excitement and a little trepidation about what this season will bring.
Locally we feel that the outlook is pretty bright for this construction season, but with the spring solstice rapidly approaching, markets are still really slow. Even as business is slow, retailers are in prime buying season as we prep for the upcoming months and try to make the best of the current prices before demand pushes them upward.
When I mention prime buying season, this isn’t to say that our purchases are at their peak, but that our purchases to sales ratio is the highest it will be all year. Our sales are slow, slow, slow currently, but with 4 buying shows in a month and many vendors offering spring buys, now is the time we stack our warehouses full and drain the bank accounts.
Currently trading is slow for building materials, but some mills are able to keep their prices stable by matching production with demand. Panel products like OSB and plywood are seeing small increases in price as they keep the demand well-managed. Retailers like ourselves have taken advantage of the lower late-winter prices and put enough stock in storage to hopefully get us through until prime building season gets into full-swing in early May.
Similarly we use this time to order a lot of interior inventory; plumbing, electrical, housewares and hardware. As we speak, rather as I write, our stores are undergoing a re-vamping process in our paint departments to meet the new VOC, volatile organic compound, regulations. Our tinting systems are being updated and the departments are getting refreshed.
So as spring anticipation builds, keep planning your projects and we will keep stocking up to save you money. Hopefully the sun will spur some demand without building material prices jumping through the roof like they did last year. We will do our best to keep you posted on changing prices and product shortages throughout the spring and summer.