CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 47 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 1.5.2020 BLOG 3rd May 2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 47 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Friday 1st May 2020

Shopping habits in the time of crisis – 26 items that have become shopper’s favourites during Covid-19 lockdown.

Beyond the headlines of toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages, it turns out people across the world are stocking up on the same  some unexpected items during lockdown. From beer to beard trimmers to jigsaws, See the surprising purchases people are making in massive numbers.


1              Yeast.     Yeast shortages have also been widely reported across the UK. And with yeast, you often need…


  1. Flour. Flour is not only a necessity for making your own bread, but for most home bakes. According to research by the Co-op supermarket in the UK, flour mills are working tirelessly to meet demand, which increased by 92% in the four weeks leading up to 22 March compared to 2019.


  1. Mozzarella. In Italy, mozzarella has become a hot commodity with sales shooting up by 125% in March, according to Co-op data. With sales of flour and yeast also spiking, it’s thought that many Italians are making their own pizza and bread during lockdown.


  1. Olives and olive oil. In Spain, olives have seen a 93.8% rise in sales since lockdown was imposed, according to Inforetail magazine. Meanwhile the UK saw a massive 563.5% increase in online sales of olive oil between 1 January and 11 March according to Criteo’s Shopper Network.


  1. Anchovies and tuna In the period of lockdown people have turn to tinned foods, Spain and Italy have seen demand for their tinned anchovies and tuna grow world-wide.


  1. Loungewear. As our lounges have become our offices, many are taking advantage of more relaxed dress codes. Online sales of loungewear items including hoodies, sweatshirts and joggers rose by a huge 433% in the UK between 24 March and 7 April according to a report by online marketplace Love The Sales.


  1. “Top-half” clothing. That said, some white-collar workers are keeping up appearances for online video meetings – at least on the top half. In the UK, demand for top-half clothing rose 167% compared to the same time last year, while demand for bottoms jumped by just 39%.


  1. Beard trimmers and hair clippers. As hair salons and barber shops across the world remain shut, many have taken personal grooming into their own hands. In the UK, demand for beard trimmers jumped 138% year-on-year according to Nielsen.


  1. Hair dye. Similarly, at-home hair dye sales are on the up as, unable to go to the hair salon, people are having to take their hair colour into their own hands. In Italy, sales of home hair dye kits rose by 135% in March compared to last year, according to Co-op data, while sales of American brand Madison Reed’s at-home colouring kits rose by 750%. British hair colour brand Knight & Wilson reported a massive 1,200% increase in sales since lockdown began in the UK on 23 March.


  1. Board games. Bored families are turning to more traditional entertainment sources under lockdown, with UK sales of board games and jigsaws up by 240% in the country’s first week of lockdown according to market research firm NPD Group. Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo and Uno were among the top 10 best-selling games. Meanwhile in Dubai, shoppers are, perhaps bizarrely, buying pandemic-related board games such as Pandemic and Virus, with retailers across the country reporting that they have sold out of both games.


  1. Jigsaws. In a similar vein, jigsaw sales are up across the world. Ceaco, one of the largest jigsaw puzzle and game manufacturers in the US, reported a 300% increase in jigsaw sales for the second week of March compared to the same period last year. In the UK jigsaw manufacturers are reporting sales increases of more than 150%, while in Australia sales of a “jigsaw puzzle roll up mat” on, designed as a non-slip surface for jigsaw puzzling, were up by a massive 14,493% according to the Sydney Morning Herald.


  1. LEGO. Although the company has had to shut many of its 570 stores worldwide, it seems sales haven’t taken a hit as people stock up online. In the UK, the John Lewis department store chain reported a threefold increase in sales of LEGO in the last two weeks of March. However, LEGO CEO Niels Christiansen said it was “too early” to suggest what effect coronavirus has had on the company.


  1. Outdoor toys, Trying, to entertain kids is undoubtedly challenging under lockdown – so some parents are turning to outdoor toys to keep them amused. Sales of outdoor toys for the garden, including trampolines, basketball hoops and slides, were up 20% in the US for the week ending 21 March, according to research firm the NPD Group. In the UK family-run online retailer Outdoor Toys has reported strong sales of swings, climbing frames, trampolines and soccer goals since the UK’s lockdown was announced.


  1. White towels. Stragely enough, shoppers in Australia have been buying more white towels during the pandemic, with discount store Kmart reporting that it’s struggling to keep them in stock. Some shoppers suggested that shortages of sanitary and baby products could have led to the increased demand for towels, although there’s no clear cause for the increase in demand.


  1. Home fitness products. As people scramble to stay active while gyms are shut, there’s been a surge in demand for home fitness kit. An analysis of debit card spending by Bank of Ireland has shown increased spending on home fitness equipment since 12 March, while in the UK fitness product sales were up 53% on the weekend of 20 March compared to February, according to analysis by global affiliate network Awin.


  1. Seeds. Lockdown measures across the world have led to an increased interest in gardening, with almost all fruit and vegetable seeds reportedly out of stock on Walmart’s US site. UK seed companies have also reported a huge spike in demand, with one company, JustSeed, saying that orders increased fourfold in the ten days leading up to 24 March.


  1. Sewing and knitting supplies. Crafting is cool again, and the UK’s Liberty London department store reported that sales of sewing accessories were up 380% for the week ending 22 March compared to the same week last year, and sales of crafts kits were up 228%.


  1. Books. The UK population has been increasing its literary intake if latest figures are to be believed. Sales of fiction were up by a third for the week before the country went into lockdown, according to Nielsen, while bookseller Waterstones has seen a 400% increase in online orders.


  1. Office Equipment and Storage containers. Home office equipment sales have increased, with sales of office chairs up 13.3% and sales of office desks up 5.1% in the UK in the first week of March. Perhaps as a result of more people turning to cleaning and organizing their homes during lockdown sales of storage containers have also increased during lockdown.


  1. Pet toys. Providing entertainment for animals and their owners alike, pet toy sales are spiking. There were reports of 35-minute wait times to visit UK retailer Pets at Home’s website in early April, according to The Drum. In the US, online pet retailer Chewy is hiring 6,000 to 10,000 new employees in its warehouses to keep up with a spike in orders for pet food and supplies.


  1. Chocolate. It’s perhaps not surprising that many of us are reaching for comfort foods during these uncertain times, and when Easter came more people than usual had a visit from the Easter bunny. UK chocolate retailer Thorntons said that demand was “four times higher than average” for the first week of April. Ice cream sales also soared


  1. Crisps. Store snack shelves are looking pretty bare as shoppers stock up on treats for lockdown. Along with beer and chocolate, sales of crisps since lockdown began were up 47% and popcorn was up by 48%, according to Nielsen data.


  1. Wine. Wine sales rose by nearly two-thirds in the US for the week ending 21 March, according to Nielsen data. And in Spain wine sales have jumped a massive 62.7% since the government declared a state of lockdown, according to consumer magazine Inforetail. Julián Ribalda, the director of the Madrid online wine store said they were “seeing numbers as though it were Christmas”.


  1. Beer. Beer sales were up by 42% in the US according to Nielsen data for the week ending 21 March. In France, beer sales were up 6.9% between 13 March and 29 March, while in Spain they were up by 78% for the week beginning 16 March. But what about the Corona beer which now shares its name with the virus? Despite the fact 38% of US beer drinkers reported in a survey that they would not buy it “under any circumstances”, sales are actually up by 50% for the Corona family of beers according to Nielsen data.


  1. Animal Crossing video game. Computer, and video game sales are increasing across the world and a few games are gaining particular interest. Nintendo’s latest edition of its Animal Crossing franchise, titled New Horizons, sold more copies in its first week of launch in the UK than the launch sales of all previous entries in the series put together. Meanwhile in Japan the game sold more than 1.8 million copies in the first three days. According to Rishi Chadha, global head of gaming partnerships at Twitter: “It’s now the No.1 most talked-about game in the world”.


  1. Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s share price soared to a 52-week high of 47,000 yen ($438/£355) on 16 April, with game Animal Crossing and the Nintendo Switch console contributing significantly to that success. The Switch console, launched in March 2017, has sold out at major retailers in the UK and US. On Amazon and Walmart’s websites, which allow third-party sellers, the console has been spotted selling at inflated prices – on Amazon, the Switch has been marked up by an average of $125 (£101).




So, the government managed their 100,000 tests by 30th April!


Day 47 today, still some rain and I was feeling a bit ropey. Me and Mamma went for an hour’s walk calling in at our grandchildren’s house to drop their mum some magazines off and to see how our youngest grandson was recovering from his fall and injury yesterday. His chin sure looked bad.


Our oldest grandson announced old people frighten him! A nice welcome. Stayed 2+ Metres from the door. Then went and queued outside the Post Office, 2 metres apart. How life has changed.


TV Agenda: 1. Britain’s Most Scenic Railway Journey (we were planning on travelling this until Covid-19 struck0. 2. Have I Got News For You? 3. Gogglebox. 4. Friday Night Dinner – last in the series.





“Wake up, be kind, be amazing, be grateful, repeat.”


Happiness is…walking to actually physically seeing our grandchildren


Q: What do you call the security outside of a Samsung Store? A: Guardians of the Galaxy.


Love is…shown over Zoom in lockdown


5 Things To Be Grateful For During Lockdown/Coronavirus

  1. Being allowed to walk to our grandchildren’s house and see them.
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Gardening
  5. Walking


DAY 27        18 Times – 162 Feet Cumulative Total 3,987 Feet





Country                                 Confirmed cases  Deaths


1  US 1,133,069 66,385
2  Italy 209,328 28,710
3  UK 183,500 28,205
4  Spain 216,582 25,100
5  France 168,518 24,763
6  Belgium 49,517 7,765
7  Germany 164,967 6,812
8  Brazil 97,100 6,761
9  Iran 96,448 6,156
10  Netherlands 40,434 5,003


Deaths in UK yesterday 621


Global cases         Updated 3 May at 07:56 local

Confirmed 3,428,422 +84,148
Deaths 243,831 +5,056
Recovered 1,093,189 +39,845



©2020 Phil M Robinson