Guns, fitness gear, and groceries are winning in the corona economy

Yelp has released data showing interest in different sectors.


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It’s impossible at this point to predict the toll that anti-coronavirus measures taken by authorities in Europe and the United States will have on their economies.

Nobody knows for how long the lockdown will last and when things might start returning to normal, but it’s clear that services and hospitality industries are among the hardest-hit – and that customers have been drastically changing their habits over a short amount of time.

Review platform and business directory Yelp has compiled a report covering only the US market and the 10 days between March 8 and 18, which clearly outlines some of the newly forming trends.

The data Yelp has organized here is collected through its service that it integrated with Apple Maps, and measures customers’ interests based on a variety of actions they take to connect with businesses listed on Yelp.

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As you might expect, any business or indoor activity that involves gathering of a large number of people is generating less and less interest: restaurants, art galleries, bridal stores (i.e., weddings), gyms, amusement parks.

Interest in restaurants and nightlife, in general, has declined by 54% and 69% respectively, according to the report.

But there’s been a huge upturn linked to activities and items people associate with survival: for example, a 360% increase in interest in guns and ammunition. The only category that’s doing even better is buying produce directly from farmers (up 405%).

Customers are also looking up more businesses or interacting through reviews in the category of buying water (166% up) and groceries in general (160%).

Lastly, more and more people are looking to exercise at home (344% increase in interest in home fitness equipment) and in hiking and using parks (while they still can) – as gyms, yoga places and the like get shut down.

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Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovic is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovic is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected]