MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The COVID-19 pandemic put many families' travel plans on hold, but now pool sales are soaring.
People looking to add some excitement to their lives as many are staying closer to home these days.
7 Action News reporter Darren Cunningham called around to a number of pool shops, all of them echoing the same thing, including at Viscount of Madison Heights.
The owner tells Cunningham he's been inundated with pool sales, his backlog of orders to fill dating back to April.
"This year is not typical," said Bob Zacharski, the owner of Viscount Pools Madison Heights.
Atypical because of COVID-19, but Zacharski is talking about an unusual spike in pool sales, thanks to the pandemic.
He says since many people's travel plans have been disrupted for much of the year, they're opting for home recreation.
"We'll register about 200 phone calls, maybe 20 emails, and probably 50 to 60 text messages coming in," said Zacharski. "Those numbers have quadrupled. The number one question we get is 'Do you have any pools?'"
Metro Detroiters are also posting on social media about their struggle to find an above-ground pool shop with inventory.
One woman saying she's "called at least 25 places in the last two weeks. Nothing." Another says she's been looking for the past two months with no luck. A third person learned manufacturers are two months behind.
"When the government shut down the switch at factories, they shut 'em down. Factory workers left, couldn't build any product, raw materials backed up," said Zacharski. "So what has transpired right now is there's been a panic to actually try to get product from vendors and manufacturers."
Simply put – there's not enough supply to meet the demand.
Zacharski says all of this is explained to each customer with the hope they'll be understanding and exercise a little patience.
"Probably mid-summer, we'll start to see more and more and more of a ramping up, but it's going to be a very slow process for all that to happen," said Zacharski.
Zacharski, who has a lot of years in the business, says he thinks this interest will last at least another two years.
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