Covid Shopping Trends

Posted by Pamela Batzold on

As the year comes to a close, I reflect back on the last few months and usually look forward to a new and exciting year ahead. This time, it’s hard to know what the new year will bring.

Reflecting Back
2020 is a year to remember. We saw almost every small business close temporarily for the mandatory shutdown and many small businesses closed permanently. Not only Canada was affected, but the whole world.

We weren’t able to celebrate milestones with our friends and family. Our hugs grew distanced, and we learned to elbow shake. We couldn’t welcome people into our homes to share a meal or drink. The mountains of environmental waste grew higher. We couldn’t shop with our own shopping bags, we ordered from online stores, and our landfills filled rapidly. We waited longer for our parcels to be delivered. Our patience increased, our interaction with people decreased and ultimately our shopping habits changed.

Shopping Habits
Within a few months Covid-19 turned everything upside down. We learned to live with less. We loved our pajamas and sweats more. Sales of make-up
dropped. Toilet paper and cleaning products skyrocketed. Internet services and online streaming hit record highs.

When we reopened our store, we found a number of interesting trends. Lululemon and sales of workout wear increased as these pieces of comfortable
clothing became a staple for zoom meetings. With no weddings, graduations or parties, the sales of formal party wear dropped to zero. High heels were sitting in closets collecting dust and no one wanted to buy more.

Fast fashion sales dropped. Less is more, people found, so spent their money on beautiful things to treasure. The higher end handbags, jewelry and luxury items started selling faster. Everyone was Covid cleaning and clearing the stuff that hadn’t been used for months. Spending so much time at home, we realized we do not want to use our space to store unused items, we wanted to surround ourselves with things that make us smile.

Outdoor clothing and footwear became essential. More and more people were spending as much time outdoors as possible. I once heard there is not bad  weather, only bad clothing, and shoppers seem to agree! More and more
outerwear was plucked from our inventory. People had more time to exercise and lift weights, and our comfortable sportswear could be used indoors and outdoors.

Jewelry was used to accessorize our comfy clothing. People looked for the precious metals from gold to silver and designer pieces to dress up their casual clothing. More and more people wanted to upgrade their sunglasses and handbags. These items were the dressy part of our changing wardrobe.
Covid-19 taught us how to cook again and cookbooks and baking pans became important.

Looking through colourful cookbooks was more enjoyable than looking online. Sales of puzzles and board games increased. Reading a book became a delight either in your comfy chair or outside in the garden. It was downtime from the internet, and it felt good. I still get excited each week when my phone tells me my screen time is down this week from the previous.

I find when people are out shopping now, they have a purpose. Window  shopping is frowned upon, who wants you out and about sharing germs without a reason? We tend to buy more each trip with fewer visits to the grocery or clothing store each month. We’re spending so much more per transaction that our merchant account increased the ‘Tap’ limit to $250 from $100 depending on the customer’s contract with their bank.

Families and friends shopping together has decreased as well. Shopping has now become less of an activity and more a requirement to live.

Stay Safe
Sadly, the end of 2020 will not be the end of Covid-19. We must remain resilient and adapt better to change than we thought we could. Our kids are learning to wash hands, sanitize and keep their distance.

The future still remains a place to dream. Covid-19 cannot take this away from us. We need to focus on one day at a time until our dreams can fly again. Keep safe and positive.


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