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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 1, 2020

  • Many shoppers who have purchased apparel, accessories, toys, and hobby goods are already planning to buy again.
  • Trending: For the third day in a row, more respondents said they were shopping at independent retailers, while fewer have been shopping at Amazon.
  • For those 45 and over, hardware and home improvement sales are holding steady, with about the same percentage of people saying they’ve bought recently as those who plan to buy in the near future.


Play it again: Many plan to buy more toys and hobby goods.
Yesterday, toys and hobby goods ranked as the most popular categories for repeat purchases with 48 percent of previous buyers reporting that they planned to buy again. Apparel and accessories came in a close second with 46 percent of previous buyers planning to buy again.

One gamer responded that they plan to buy new games in order “to pass the time indoors.”

Percentage of toys and hobby purchasers who plan to buy again 4-1

Percentage of apparel and accessories purchasers who plan to buy again 4-1

Shoppers are moving away from Amazon.
Three days ago, 89 percent of respondents said they were shopping at Amazon and 32 percent said they were shopping at independent retailers. Yesterday, only 77 percent said they were shopping at Amazon, while the number of people shopping at independent retailers increased to 39 percent. We’ll continue to keep an eye on these numbers to see if this trend grows as Amazon shipping delays and concerns about worker treatment continue.

Percent of people shopping at Amazon vs independent retailers 4-1

Home improvement is still on shoppers’ minds.
Previously, we reported a steady pattern of hardware and home improvement purchases across age groups. While this trend has fallen off for those under 45, it remains steady for those 45 and over. In fact, for those 45 and over, for the first time, slightly more people report planning to buy hardware and home improvement goods than have bought them in the last 2 weeks. Twenty-five percent reported having already purchased hardware and home improvement gear, while 27 percent reported planning to buy it in the future. As significantly more people over 45 own homes compared to those under 45, and since those who own their homes can make more updates to their places than those who rent, this may be one reason why trends have diverged.

As one repeat buyer commented, home improvement is never done. Once they finish projects inside, they plan to “start outdoor plants and set up [the] patio.”

Hardware and home improvement spending by age 4-1

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

As many people are staying close to home, some are finding more ways to appreciate the outdoors, from gardening and golfing in their backyard to jogging or birdwatching. One respondent noted their buying priorities as “Bird feeders, bird seed. We are home more & therefore birding more.”

Keeping local businesses afloat continues to be a pressing concern for many. People are trying to buy local where they can, from books to clothes to takeout, to help their favorite shops deal with the unprecedented situation. As one person said, they “try to buy just about anything from local stores (books, games, clothes) just to keep them in business.”

Some report continuing to buy groceries in bulk for various reasons. For some, ordering bulk deliveries offers a way to avoid interacting with delivery people on a frequent basis to help maintain social distancing. Others say they are trying to avoid leaving their homes as much as possible, so stocking up for a week or two at a time can help. And for some, spending more time around the house is leading to more snacking than usual.“Groceries because we are a family of 5 and they’re all under 7 and eating like grown men,” wrote one respondent.

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