March 20, 2020
We all know about the hoarding of toilet paper going on across the nation, but that’s just one of many shockwaves in retail right now. For instance, legions of employees are sheltering in place and working at home for the first time, which has led to a drop in cosmetics sales and a rise in books and condom sales.
These are just a few of the findings from Catalina Marketing, a provider of shopper intelligence for CPG brands and retailers, which released its latest retailer data on COVID-19’s impact. Catalina’s nearly real-time insights come from a massive database with three years of purchase data and more than two billion unique product codes scanned daily.
“Store trips began growing around March 1st and really took off last week, with visits peaking around March 13,” says Catalina CMO Marta Cyhan. “For the week ending March 14, total dollar sales per store were up 60 percent.”
What were shoppers buying? Let’s get the toilet paper out of the way: 379 percent increase for the week compared to the prior year. Other massive sales increases came from staple foods and cleaning products. Powdered milk was up 375 percent, and dry soups up 235 percent. Chlorine bleach was up 375 percent, and deodorant soap bars up 218 percent.
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More interestingly, many people had a dramatic change in everyday lifestyle this week. Companies began in earnest letting employees work from home, while local governments told people to shelter in place. This had a profound effect on sales in multiple categories.
With fewer people heading into the office, there’s less demand for personal grooming products. Cosmetics lipstick sales were down 23 percent, applicators down 20 percent, trimming devices down 18 percent, and women’s perfume down 12 percent.
Being stuck at home, perhaps for weeks, people looked for products to help pass the time. Book sales were up 42 percent, smoking accessories up 29 percent, condoms up 25 percent, and games and puzzles up 23 percent.
Here is Catalina’s infographic:
Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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