After the "panic buying" phases focusing on basic necessities, distribution business remains significantly impacted by the Coronavirus crisis throughout the world. Consumers are changing their supply methods and interests are changing. While the tourism and fashion sectors are badly affected, sales of sports and puzzle equipment are soaring.
Tourism - the first affected sector
All over the world, tourist sites are closing. Trade shows and international meetings have been cancelled. After the waves of cancellations, tourism stakeholders are facing great uncertainty. Prolonged periods of lockdown and concern about new outbreaks are having a significant impact on the number of visitors to tourist sites and bookings for the rest of the year, which are down by more than 20%. Travel purchases are down by more than 20%.
The only players in the sector to perform well are private jet companies, which are recording an increase in bookings (+20 to 25% in the United States).
Local shops and drive-throughs are on the up.
Conversely, consumer products account for a larger share of the audience (25.7 more hours of research) and sales with an average increase of 20%. The biggest impact falls more on the distribution channels. Consumers prefer convenience stores and drive-throughs.
In France, according to Nielsen, the coronavirus crisis has mainly affected large supermarkets, which have already been in decline for several years. Lockdown instructions encourage consumers to shop nearby or to have things delivered. Conversely, drive-thru collections have risen by 65% and the local supermarket business has increased by 28%.
Some start-ups are also taking advantage of the period, with targeted offers such as Epicery (with a delicatessen range) or Joone and its eco-friendly nappies.
Healthcare is doing well
Pharmacies continue to fill up and online sites have seen their transactions increase by 27%.
A circuit that also allows L'Oréal to limit the damage. Thanks to online retail and selective distribution, the group recorded a decline of only 4.3%.
Home fitness has sky-rocketed
Online fitness classes and sports equipment sites are on the rise. Whether it's indoor or outdoor equipment, sales are rising. The American company Peloton has seen a dramatic increase in its bicycle and treadmill sales. Decathlon doubled its sales, recording up to 12,000 orders per day. This increase has continued over the weeks, particularly for outdoor equipment. Sales of trampolines and ping-pong tables constitute 30% of the transactions, which usually account or only for 5%.
Dumbbells and floor mats are not the only investments consumers have been making.
With an increase in teleworking, sales of electronic and computer products have also increased. The Fnac-Darty Group has recorded a 177% increase in sales. In addition to computers, printers, cartridges, cables, etc. parents have also invested heavily in school and after-school activities in order to maintain their children's education whilst they are confined to their homes.
Puzzles are back with a vengeance
Board games and puzzles are also making a comeback in this lockdown period. The Washington Post reported that "Puzzle Warehouse", a toy shop in St. Louis, U.S.A., increased its sales tenfold last week. In Belgium, online sales of educational puzzles and toys rose by 438.50%. For the first time, the list of the 10 best-selling toys includes 7 board games (Monopoly, Good Pay, Scrabble, Uno, Trivial Pursuit), and 3 categories of puzzles (500, 1,000 and 1,500 pieces).
Fashion: France is an exception
The number of customers visiting fashion sites remained stable, with an increase in the time spent visiting (+13.9%) and in transactions (+7.3%). Lingerie specialists are even experiencing a real upturn with an increase in sales of more than 35%. Encouraging figures, except in France where fashion sites recorded a drop in transactions of nearly 10% and 25% for lingerie. It seems the French have opted for the pyjama/slipper look.
A crisis that boosts online retail. According to Kantar, there are no less than 2.5 million additional customers in France alone. However, while demand remains encouraging in some sectors, with the stores closing (and some collection points), logistics must prove their worth and ensure the last "contactless" stage.
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