- Exercise equipment, grooming products, and loungewear were the most popular items that online customers in the UK purchased in the past two weeks during the nationwide lockdown.
- American footwear brands UGG and Crocs, and fashion titan Calvin Klein were the best performing brands with the highest surge in online consumer traffic in the UK, according to a new fortnightly report.
- Online retailers bumped up product prices as demand soared, and also removed thousands of discounts from lockdown clothing categories.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It is evident that a pandemic can have a major impact on society. A recent “Lockdown Economy” report revealed such an impact on the online retail industry in Britain.
In a span of two weeks between March 24 and April 7 during the lockdown, online shoppers in the UK heavily invested in exercise equipment, beauty products, and loungewear – creating record levels of demand.
Price jumps had little effect on consumer spending in the UK as online demand soared, however.
Catering to a ‘keep fit’ audience
“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 said. “With consumers around the world on lockdown, exercise brands really know their worth,” he reasoned with regard to the massive price hikes of products.
Among exercise equipment, kettlebells saw a 419% jump in consumer demand – the highest in comparison to other equipment – with a price increase of 55% compared to last year.
Other products such as yoga mats, skipping ropes, barbells and dumbbells also saw comparable bursts in demand with soaring rates.
Premium brands outshone high street fashion
Online shoppers flocked to premium brands, while high street fashion – clothing that can be bought on a main street in the city – struggled with diminished consumer traffic.
Among data collected from over 16,000 retailers, American footwear brands UGG and Crocs, along with fashion giant Calvin Klein were the best performing online retail brands in the UK during the two-week period.
Data showed “waist-up video conferencing,” the new norm for at-home workers, caused a surplus in demand for top-half clothing categories compared to bottom-halves.
Online demand for top-half wear (t-shirts, formal shirts, and jumpers) rose 167% compared to the same time last year, with a relatively modest 39% parallel jump in demand for bottoms.
Casual clothing, or loungewear, came out on top among the popular “lockdown clothing” categories, with a 433% jump in consumer demand, followed by hoodies, sweatshirts, and joggers.
The best performing brands under loungewear were Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
Online retailers back-pedaled by removing thousands of discounts from popular lockdown clothing categories.
Increased grooming and screen-time
Among online beauty and grooming products, beard trimmers were the most popular with a 138% jump in demand, with a corresponding rise in demand for other hair removal products.
In the electronics category, tablet PCs were the most sought-after at a 153% jump in demand, while televisions and game consoles saw comparable increases.