What UK Shoppers Are Splurging On During Lockdown

Laura Lee
Mar 30, 2020

Shopping has always been one of our favorite pastimes. But apparently, our proclivity for buying things escalates dramatically during a global pandemic. A recent report called “Lockdown Economy” has revealed the drastic impact the recent lockdown situation has had on the online retail industry in the UK. In recent weeks, the internet sales of retail companies are booming, particularly in three categories: fitness equipment, luxury brands, and grooming products.

Where fitness products are concerned, there has been a significant jump in sales all around. Among the most popular exercise-related purchases were skipping ropes, yoga mats, barbells, and dumbells. However, it was kettlebells that saw the most significant leap in consumer demand, with 419% increased sales – and a price increase of 55% since last year.

When it comes to online beauty and grooming products, the most popular product by far has been beard trimmers, which saw a 138% jump in sales. In general, there has been a significant rise in demand for hair-removal products.

Perhaps most interestingly, online shoppers have been flocking towards premium brands in recent weeks, while high street fashion brands are suffering due to decreased customer traffic in their shops. Brands that have seen a boost in sales include Crocs, Ugg, and Calvin Klein. The data also shows that the demand for top-half apparel was significantly greater than the demand for bottoms, with tees and blouses seeing a 167% spike in online demand, while sales of pants and skirts rose by a mere 39%. This is most likely due to “waist-up video conferencing”, which is the new norm for everyone working remotely.

A report from the London-based online marketplace Love the Sales shows the effect the lockdown period has had on prices. In general, prices have seen significant spikes during the lockdown period compared to data from the same time last year. However, these price jumps seem to have had very little effect on consumer spending amongst UK shoppers, as the demand for online shopping soared. Rupert Walker, head of brand at Love the Sales, spoke to Business Insider about the recent price jumps.

“In a normal economy, we would expect to see price drops in the lead up to the Easter period as retailers looked to shift stock and grab a share of the lucrative holiday ‘keep fit’ audience,” Rupert Walker, head of brand at Love the Sales, told Business Insider. “However, these are not ordinary times,” he continued. “With consumers around the world on lockdown, exercise brands really know their worth,” he reasoned with regard to the massive price hikes of products.