For many, our home is our castle. And as South Africans were forced into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, some decided to invest their disposable income into their environment. Home retailers reported an increase in sales, helping those in lockdown to upgrade their lounges, bedrooms, and home offices, while many other industries battled to survive.

Paul McAdam, Director of Block & Chisel, says, “South Africans are known to take great pride in their homes and the pursuit of a quality lifestyle, but lockdown has driven many to focus even more of their spend on their homes where so much of their time is now spent relaxing, socializing and working.”

In the absence of being able to travel overseas, local money was used to enhance local experience, traveling to beautiful locations and unique properties while the prices remain accessible. Local getaways continue to explode.

Explains Helen Untiedt from Perfect Hideaways, “We have had more interest for exclusive use Hideaways. Eating out in local restaurants and supporting the locals with locally made goods. Safaris, beach cottages, farms, and especially isolated places are most requested as everyone is exploring local, traveling non-stop, and venturing where they sometimes couldn’t previously afford. Road trips are normal and driving everywhere is now the done thing.”

Used car sales have been outperforming new car sales understandably. There is an interesting new trend in South Africans upgrading their vehicles as they did their homes. Rather than purchase new – or even trade-in – why not upgrade what you’ve got?

MSQ Fitments General Manager, Bertus Smit, explains “We already valet the finest automative brands such as Land Rover, Mini, and BMW, but there has been a dramatic increase in direct sales from vehicle owners who want their car to look, smell and feel like they had just driven it out of the showroom.”

We have more time now, and our environment matters. With our income, we get to decide what matters to us. Some want new phones or computers, and others buy new furniture. “If you love cars, or still love your car, feeling like it’s just come out of the box is really rewarding, and it’s something that lasts. We clear our clutter but also get a fresh perspective too, ” he adds.

MSQ Fitments services around 400 cars per month, with 5 branches and 400 staff members.

“Our focus is to get your vehicle as close to showroom condition as possible, but now people also want the fitment of safety film, Bluetooth car kits, park distance control, and tow bars or bull bars, for example. Our latest venture is sanitizing. Who knew we would be in that business a year ago?”

MediaWeb trialed the service. Personalized – to the point of collecting the car – as well as ongoing updates on the car’s readiness, a prompt delivery, and, within 24 hours, an ageing (8 years) Land Rover Discovery 4 felt as though I had just purchased it second-hand, with the all-important smell, gloss and shine as the necessary accompaniments. Add to that, carpets that scrubbed up new, cream leather without sand and grime in the creases, and a full sanitization certificate with a chamois cloth and cleaning materials.

The promise of a new environment works, especially in the everyday places that count.