Although the pandemic crisis continues, our long national toilet-paper nightmare may finally be… behind us. (Couldn’t resist.) As supply chains for essentials like sanitizer begin to stabilize and shoppers seem finished stuffing their pantries (beans, anyone?), consumers are beginning to browse for other items that make time at home more enjoyable.
Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun (and some gin)
So what’s the next thing flying off the shelves? Two things, actually, both of them fun and dangerous: booze and guns. (Please, please don’t drink and rifle.)
Nielsen reported that alcohol sales shot up a whopping 55% in the third week of March, when the situation got real real. The liquor grab has slowed some since, but we’re still drinking according to “airport rules,” namely “7 a.m. is fair game as long as you’re drinking Bloody Marys and mimosas” and plenty of y’all know exactly what we mean. (We didn’t cause that spike by ourselves.)
For those kindred souls, a toast from David Benioff’s 25th Hour: champagne for our real friends, real pain for our sham friends. 🥂
Firearms are less universally popular than firewater, but the usual suspects did continue stockpiling guns and ammo for… we’re not sure. Let’s not think too hard about it.
Manic, Not Panic
Another category getting attention back is sporting goods (good luck buying a trampoline or hand weights) as people look for alternatives to shuttered gyms and playgrounds. Personal care is also getting its groove back; while fashion sales are down (what are pants, anyway?), people are still visible on videoconferences—so there’s been a run on hair clippers, home hair-dye kits, and other probably ill-advised grooming goods.
While many restaurants are open for delivery and pick-up, consumers are re-discovering the room with the coffeemaker and the fridge. Between 35% and 40% of Americans started cooking for the first time during the pandemic, according to global management consultant SSA & Company. That’s… wow. Small and specialty appliances saw big increases in sales (sous vide, anyone?). Gardening is itself seeing growth as we get further into spring and people look for options for farm-fresh food without having to leave the safety of home.
Riddle Me This
Home hobbies like puzzles are all the rage again because (it turns out) there is actually only so much Netflix one can binge. Off-screen entertainment like board games and crafts (start by sewing a mask!) are helping consumers stave off the boredom of lockdown. As the weather warms, businesses should expect increased sales of at-home accoutrements such as croquet and slip-n-slides. Where are our lawn darts when we finally need them?
Travel (duh), which has taken a whopping 95% hit since this time last year. 🤕 Luxury goods are non-starters while consumers see incomes on hold and fear for their future economic security. Also, pants. Literally no one is buying pants. Or… maybe that’s just us?