In the midst of the nation’s pandemic lockdown that began in late March, nursing homes across the country faced mounting uncertainties, including whether to push the pause button on a host of in-progress renovation projects.
That didn’t preclude the need for furnishings, however. For example, Stance Healthcare, parent company of Open Road Furnishings, found itself fielding a slew of urgent orders for furnishings to outfit “pop-up” testing clinics and temporary hospital spaces. In response, the company implemented a quick-ship program to expedite facility requests. The company was able to get furniture to clients in under 15 days.
Mark Huxta, director of healthcare for Ecore, said his company focused on assuring customers its plants were building flooring for facilities and shipping samples to architects’ homes, all while the provider community found itself in the fog of COVID-19 chaos.
“Understandably, sales have slowed, but fortunately Ecore has been able to remain open because we are a life-sustaining business,” Huxta said.
Forbo Flooring’s retail, entertainment and hospitality segments, meanwhile, were forced to temporarily close as “nonessential” businesses, said Jamie Thorn, director of new business development for Forbo Flooring NA.
And the pandemic caused other holds at design firms. For example, “materially changing market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” forced HD Supply Holdings to postpone the planned spinoff of its Facilities Maintenance and Construction & Industrial businesses.
Meanwhile, a deep freeze swept through much of the construction industry.
“Most physical plant projects, big or small, have been delayed as operators focus on navigating the uncertain path related to COVID-19,” said Jeff Binder, managing director at Senior Living Investment Brokerage. “The restriction on access to communities would preclude any contractor from entering a community, either for bid or work, so I do not view this as a realistic endeavor at this time.”
Some experts said the long-term care industry will come out of the crisis with a very obvious desire to create clean and sanitized spaces for residents and staff.