Back-to-school search for virtual school supplies could lead to desk, chair shortage

Search term for 'kids desk' on Amazon surged 3,783% during coronavirus work from home and home-schooling

Back-to-school means desks and chairs are on back order with virtual learning becoming the new normal for kids and more parents working from home during coronavirus.

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The search term for 'kids desk' on Amazon surged 3,783%, new data suggests. (iStock). 

The search rank for “desk” on Amazon skyrocketed 600% between July 11 and Aug. 15, becoming the second most-searched-for item next to face mask, according to data from e-commerce performance analytics firm Profitero, as reported by USA Today. And the search terms “kids desk” surged 3,783%, while the search for a “computer desk” was up 257% on Amazon, according to Profitero data.

PARENTS ARE SPENDING MORE ON SCHOOL SUPPLIES THAN EVER BEFORE AS RETAILERS CATER TO VIRTUAL LEARNING 

Work-from-home setups — for adults and kids alike — are crucial for families who are fortunate enough to do so remotely. A recent analysis from Global Workplace Analytics suggested that 56% of U.S. workers have jobs that allow them to partially work remotely, and industry experts estimate that those Americans will continue to work from home for the long haul — which is perhaps why so many are investing in their work-from-home setup.

“Our best estimate is that we will see 25 to 30% of the workforce working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021,” Global Workplace Analytics firm president Kate Lister wrote on the company’s website.

PARENTS EXPLORING HOMESCHOOLING DURING CORONAVIRUS WITH 'LEARNING PODS'

Still, those looking to get a desk that fits in with their at-home aesthetic may have to wait until as late as October. Select varieties on websites like Walmart, Amazon, Target and higher-end furniture retailers like West Elm and Pottery Barn are already in high demand and on back order into the fall. A spokesperson for Ikea told USA Today the retailer was also experiencing some supply delays as a result of COVID-19.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TGTTARGET CORP.154.35+2.35+1.55%
WMTWALMART INC.137.27+0.57+0.42%
DELLDELL TECHNOLOGIES65.72+0.35+0.54%
HPQHP INC.18.30+0.15+0.83%

The coronavirus has fueled a long list of shortages, with everything from toilet paper to hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes flying off the shelves. And in addition to desks and chairs, laptops are in short supply, with customers in the U.S. facing long delays as a result of the rush to purchase remote-friendly back-to-school supplies, according to a recent report from the Associated Press.

Indeed, companies like HP, Dell and Lenovo have told schools they are experiencing a shortage of close to 5 million laptops, the AP reported.

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Parents are already shelling out more than they ever would to make the virtual learning experience for their kids as seamless as possible. The National Retail Federation estimates that parents of elementary and high school students will spend $33.9 billion this year, up from $26.2 billion last year breaking the record set in 2012 with $30.3 billion spent.