I recently read an article from the CEO of Walmart about America’s evolving shopping patterns during the coronavirus pandemic that made me smile, and then go hmmm… What he says reflects my own experience of shopping during COVID-19.
Several weeks ago, before the lockdown, I went to our local Food Basics to look for Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Nada. None available. These items seemed to have disappeared from the shelves. I left the store and made my way to a Shoppers Drug Mart. Surely they would have these items. Again, no wipes, no hand sanitizer and no toilet paper. I did notice one person in line struggling as he carried 3 big packs of toilet paper. I was a bit annoyed, until I found out he was picking up the extras for his neighbours.
Two weeks ago, I attempted to order eggs online. Two stores had run out of eggs. As parents hunkered at home with kids, the theory is that baking became a comfortable self-soothing activity which explained the sudden, surging demand for eggs, flour and yeast. I learnt that it takes about 5 months to raise a hen to egg-laying age. I also learnt that the number of eggs a hen can lay each week depends on the light they are exposed to during the day; when there is more light, hens lay more eggs. On average, though, a typical hen lays one egg a day. Clearly I have too much time on my hands to be researching this. But I do have a whole new appreciation of eggs (and hens). Never will I take either for granted.
This week, we have come to the “hair colour” phase of panic buying, according to the Walmart CEO. Word is that hair clippers, beard trimmers and hair dyes are flying off the shelves. My husband Nagib takes grooming very seriously and gets his hair cut, religiously, every 4 weeks. He goes to Joseph from Maverick Studio downtown. I have witnessed how Nagib has, on occasion, rebuffed an offer to have coffee with me to keep his hair appointment with Joseph (who is a very much in demand hairstylist). Yesterday, Nagib got an Instagram video from the aforementioned Joseph with tips on how to groom a beard. I was on the floor, laughing uncontrollably, as Joseph demonstrated the technique using his own face as a canvas. This is customer service at its best!
I use beauty services sporadically but am waiting for the first opportune moment when I can get a manicure and pedicure. Lately, I have been dreaming of a long, luxurious facial. But perhaps I am just experiencing cabin fever.
I am curious as to what buying patterns will emerge as the orders to stay at home are extended once again. I am predicting a surge of people buying home fitness equipment as people try to lose weight from all that baking and expanding waist lines!
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