When COVID-19 first came on the scene, various items flew off the shelves at stores in record numbers as “panic buying” began but trends have now shifted.
First it was hand soap, sanitizer and of course we all remember the toilet paper shortages as folks stocked up in record amounts. Now, after many more days of isolation have taken place Doug McMillon, the CEO of Walmart, says shoppers have now turned their buying habits to personal grooming, in particular hair grooming.
He said on an interview Friday that since hair salons aren’t open, many people need haircuts and colouring services and as a result hair clippers and hair dye are seeing huge surges in sales.
According to research firm Nielsen, sales of hair clippers have increased more than 160% percent and hair colouring products also saw an increase of 23% from the same period a year ago.
Here are the trends as we have seen them so far since the pandemic began:
WEEK 1: HAND SANITIZERS, SOAPS AND DISINFECTANTS
During the week ending March 7, hand sanitizer sales skyrocketed 470% from the year before, according to Nielsen data. Aerosol disinfectant product sales shot up 385%.
WEEK 2: TOILET PAPER
Nielsen reported that bath tissue, facial tissue and paper towel products all saw triple-digit sales increases during the week that ended March 14. That same week, aerosol disinfectant sales spiked 519%, according to Nielsen.
WEEKS 3 AND 4: SPIRAL HAMS AND BAKING YEAST
As hunkering down at home transitioned to settling in, people seemed to turn to baking. In the weeks ending March 21 and March 28, baking yeast sales grew more than any other consumer packaged goods product, up 647% and 457%, respectively, over the same weeks in 2019. Spiral hams were also popular, with sales spiking 622% and 413%, in that same time period, according to Nielsen.
After panic buying subsides, will Coronavirus make lasting changes to consumer psychology?
Experts say it is likely to have some effect, however what that looks like in the future is still unknown. It will likely force a recalibration of priorities however and new habits are expected for consumers.
Bottom Line: Consumption plays an important role in our lives and also has a huge impact on the economy at large. That won’t go away. But retailers and marketers are well advised to plan for potential long-term changes that this crisis may bring to their underlying psychology and the values that underpin purchasing decisions.
To receive similar content, “Like” us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/niagarabuzz.ca