The latest in the long list of ways COVID-19 has changed things comes to us from Singapore, where several entrepreneurs have begun selling the comforts of home to people quarantined away from home.
David Lee, a Singapore resident, set up his business during his second quarantine, selling to residents and travelers quarantined at government-appointed facilities, typically hotels, Bloomberg reported Monday (May 3).
Lee’s Happy SHN (for “stay-home notice”) rents a host of items, from exercise equipment to gaming consoles to kitchen appliances and big screen TVs.
This trend is in keeping with PYMNTS findings from early in the pandemic, when people reported buying all sorts of things — from Legos to gaming systems to neck cream — designed to provide a form of comfort during the pandemic.
“Happy SHN will accept any request, so long as it’s legal and within certain weight and size limits,” the Bloomberg report says. “If renters really like the equipment, they can buy it at a discounted rate, depending on its age and condition. Upon checkout, they just leave it with the hotel concierge.”
Interest in the service has been high, Lee told the news outlet, with people in quarantine wanting to be as comfortable as possible.
The story also profiles another entrepreneur named Ian Berclaz, a Swiss asset manager who used the time after a layoff to launch Sweatspot SG, a service that began as an exercise bike rental operation for people who want to work out at home during quarantine. The business has since expanded to cater to people in hotels, a market that now encompasses two-thirds of Berclaz’s business.
And although governments all over the globe are trying to get people vaccinated as fast as possible to revive their economies, the businesses Bloomberg spoke to see their companies growing, at least in the short term, with Sweatspot planning expansions into Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan.