Patio heaters have suddenly become so popular that they’re being labeled as “the new toilet paper”, according to one publication. That’s because the heaters are selling at record speeds as people look to create a nice and cozy outdoor space as cooler weather sets in in many parts of the U.S.
Fast Company says the pandemic has led to more interest in outdoor home spaces as people are faced with spending more time at home due to pandemic lockdowns. Outdoor space is important for home buyers too, and real estate stagers are placing greater importance on homes’ outdoor amenities, highlighting features such as fire pits and surrounding chairs to set the scene. They may also add a patio heater to show how those outdoor spaces can be comfortable even during winter.
“As it gets colder outside, shoppers are looking for ways to extend the use of their outdoor spaces with fire pits, outdoor heaters, outdoor lights, canopies, and even hot tubs,” said Jonathan Johnson, CEO of Overstock.com, an internet retailer, in an interview with Fast Company.
Fast Company reports that sales of patio heaters on Overstock climbed by 1,150% in the Northeast, by 816% in the South, and by 734% in the West from March 1 to Oct. 1.
Many businesses are buying patio heaters too, including restaurants, hotels and property management companies so they can make better use of their outdoor spaces when it’s cold.
Overstock isn’t the only retailer to report a jump in sales. Ace Hardware has seen outdoor heating product sales rise by 60% compared to last year. Trending items include things such as gas and wood burning fire puts. Meanwhile, Amazon’s best selling outdoor heating item is a 22-inch fire pit.
Elsewhere, Hannah Album, senior manager of consumer communications for Etsy, told Fast Company that the site has also seen a surge in searches for fire pits and accessories, plus outdoor blankets and outdoor lights.