The upcoming Christmas business was seen by many companies as a great hope for a final increase in sales at the end of the year. The extensions of the partial lockdown and the planned new regulations for shops have put a damper on the anticipation in retail. Because from December 1st, only one person will be allowed to stay per ten square meters of retail space; for shops over 800 square meters, 20 square meters per customer apply.
The stationary trade in particular is concerned about long lines in front of the branches and online competition. The trade association HDE expects that customers will migrate to Amazon and Co. By extending the partial lockdown, sales of up to 2 billion euros could flow from stationary to online retail. A blow for brick-and-mortar retail: According to the HDE, some retailers achieve more than a fifth of their annual sales in November and December.
While some goods are mainly bought before Christmas, others have enjoyed strong demand for months. This does not mean the food and toiletries that led to empty shelves during the first lockdown. Here demand has recently calmed down and leveled off at the pre-crisis level, as a special evaluation by the Federal Statistical Office shows. Accordingly, the sales figures for soap, disinfectants and toilet paper from November 2nd to 14th were significantly below those of the two previous weeks.
Instead, products that have touch points with the new normal of home office and social distancing benefited. These products have been in great demand since Corona
French fries, croquettes & Co.
Ready meals are among the big winners of the Corona crisis. The classic among ready-made meals, frozen pizza, recorded a sales increase of seven percent in the first half of the year. The increase in demand for potato products was even more pronounced. According to a study by the market research company Nielsen, French fries and other potato products from the refrigerated section experienced a boom: the supermarkets sold around 168 million packs of chips, croquettes and other products in the first half of the year. Compared to the same period last year, this is an increase of 18 percent.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
The furniture industry benefits from increased demand, especially in the second half of the year. In the second and third quarters, money that might normally have been spent on travel went to furnishing your own four walls. Compared to the previous year, sales increased by 13.8 percent in the second quarter and by 19.5 percent in the third, reports the Association of the Furniture Industry (VDM). The digital furniture trade in particular is benefiting from the trend. According to VDM, it accounts for around 18 percent and thus just under a fifth. The first lockdown, on the other hand, noticeably affected the stationary furniture trade. In the first half of the year, sales here fell by almost a tenth.
@imago images / snapshot
Just a look at Germany’s streets in recent months showed that, due to the pandemic, bicycles are more popular than ever. While many bike shops in lockdown were affected by the closings in the spring, business flourished even more after the first easing. In the first half of the year alone, the industry sold 9.2 percent more than in 2019, according to the two-wheeler industry association. That corresponds to around 3.2 million bicycles. The sale of e-bikes grew even faster. Here sales were around 15.8 percent compared to the previous year.
Whether at home with the family or with roommates to pass the time, many households are resorting to board games in the corona pandemic.
Compared to the previous year, sales grew by a total of 21 percent. Games for adults increased by 30 percent over the course of the year. In addition to the classics such as “Mensch ärgere dich nicht” and “Monopoly”, “exit games”, in which puzzles have to be solved together, and dice games are particularly popular. Adult puzzles have seen the strongest increase in sales to date. While children’s puzzles increased by a fifth, there were 61 percent.
@imago images / Westend61
Those who want to stay fit despite lockdown are increasingly relying on their own four walls instead of the gym. This is also noticeable in the sale of fitness products. According to the German Industry Association for Fitness and Health, some companies reported three times the amount of products sold during the lockdown phase in March and April. For large devices such as ergometers, sales in April rose by 80 percent compared to the previous year, while sales for smaller products such as dumbbells and yoga mats even grew by 300 percent in some cases. Mail order company Otto also reported an 800 percent increase in home sports equipment sales in the summer compared to previous years.
@imago images / agefotostock
For a long time, sweatpants were frowned upon in terms of fashion. Together with many other comfortable items of clothing, it has long since established itself at home desks. In the US, sales in the fashion industry fell by up to 79 percent in individual cases in April, while sweatpants rose by 80 percent. Even the luxury online shop Netaporter reported a 40 percent increase in sales, according to US media. Sales figures are also increasing in Germany. In a ten-week comparison at the beginning of the first corona wave, the online provider Zalando posted a three-digit increase in sales for jogging pants. The number of search queries increased at a similarly strong rate.
@imago images / Petra Schneider
Consoles and gaming accessories
It is not only board games that are enjoying greater popularity in the pandemic. According to the Association of the German Games Industry, the German gaming market also grew by a full 27 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the previous year and achieved sales of over 3.7 billion euros. Game consoles and gaming accessories were particularly popular. For example, the Nintendo Switch console was sold out worldwide in March. The gaming platform Stream recorded a user record with around 20.3 million people at the same time. The two new consoles Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 should also benefit from the trend.
@imago images / YAY Images
Printers, household appliances and home office electronics
Electronic devices have also enjoyed greater demand since the pandemic. The electronics chain Euronics reported an increase in sales of 19.6 percent in May and 23 percent in June in the summer. In online trading, the increase was even clearly in three digits during this time. In addition to the need to stock up on a webcam, laptop and printer for the home office, household and entertainment devices have recently become very popular again. Since the summer, kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines have also been in demand. For household appliances, the sector recorded sales increases of up to 15 percent from July to October compared to the previous year. Printers, on the other hand, were particularly booming among Germany’s neighbors: For Western Europe, the market research institute IDC determined an increase of 12.9 percent in the third quarter compared to 2019.