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What to do for Lockdown 2?

Boris has announced a second lockdown and people are getting ready to batten the hatches and settle for an autumn hibernation. Of course, staying home means stocking up. Given the season though, this time, it might be less dalgona coffee and more pumpkin latte.

Shoppers it seems, have learned from the last lockdown. We looked at sales from the days since Boris’ announcement and compared them with the same days in the previous week in the top categories.

What are people likely to be putting into their baskets and, what can your store do to provide for your customers?

Toilet roll sales have gone up, though not as high as last time (so far). Stores might benefit from carrying a little extra stock, particularly on the bigger pack sizes. Sales for Classic Andrex White 5029053561370 (9 pack) are up 53.34%. Paracetamol too has been selling well Galpharm Paracetamol 500Mg 5017353504760, up 43.81% on the same days in the previous week.

In the baby products category, baby wipes are the top sellers – this could be due to parents stocking up just in case there is a panic and wipes are no longer available or *shudder* people substituting wiping for handwashing. Those who don’t yet have children have made it clear they’re not ready yet – condom sales are up 16.94% across the full range.

If the public didn’t perfect their sourdough loaf during the last lockdown, here’s their opportunity to do better. Perhaps they haven’t yet eaten their fill of banana bread because flour sales are again rising, McDougalls Self Raising Flour 5000354914201 sees improved sales of 78.65%.

Shoppers are also turning to tinned food – perhaps in a bid to stock up without facing the waste of fresh food that some saw in March. HS Tinned New Potatoes 5020379149037 are up 21% in the few days since the announcement. Sales of tinned tomatoes, soup and baked beans are also rising as expected. Tinned creamed rice pudding is the new lockdown treat – sales of Ambrosia Rice Pudding 5000354908767 are up 13.46% and HS Rice Pudding 5020379136143 up by 13.93%. Dry pudding rice has also seen a rise in sales which we expected to find in savoury uncooked rice too, but this has not yet transpired.

Our pets are especially important in lockdown. Cat litter sales are up – a reflection on the fact that by April 2020 it became difficult to find cat litter in the shops. ES Cat Litter 5020379137515 sales have risen by 16.51%.

Finally, ‘tis (nearly) the season to be jolly, and folk who are locked down can’t go about their usual Christmas preparations. As a result, we see early signs of preparation – greetings card sales are up, and we’re seeing sales of brown paper and postage bags rising – perhaps as people prepare to post gifts instead of visiting in person. Club Brown Paper Roll 5012213040136 sales have risen 46.52% over the days since the second lockdown announcement.

We are continuing to produce our fascinating, free, weekly, Convenience Sector Covid Report to show the effects of the pandemic on the shopping habits across the nation – sign up for your Covid Report here.

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