Coronavirus spread sees uptick in home appliance, computer purchases

People are buying more computers and computer-related goods as the coronavirus spreads (picture is illustrative).
People are buying more computers and computer-related goods as the coronavirus spreads (picture is illustrative). Source: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

The coronavirus pandemic has affected consumer purchasing behavior, with home appliances like vacuum packers and freezers, as well as computers and gaming consoles seeing a huge uptick in interest.

Expert Eesti e-store marketing manager Manuela Kelt told ERR Thursday that sales of vacuum packers had increased by several hundred percent in some cases at stores, mainly because people have an abundance of food at home due to coronavirus fears; normally the item is popular in summer and autumn only, she said.

"Significantly more freezers have started to be bought. I also know that many families or neighbors have bought freezers, especially in rural areas," she said.

The growth in sales has also hit game consoles, Kelt said, adding this was mainly due to larger numbers of people being at home and needing entertaining. Headphones, notebooks and computer monitors were also in demand, Kelt said, partly due to schoolchildren currently being homeschooled online after Estonian schools closed on Monday.

"If you have to work hard quickly, using a laptop monitor is not so easy, so people are buying monitors," she added.

More printers and TVs have been purchased than usual.

 At the same time, the boon in sales does not necessarily translate to increased profits for stores, Kelt said, as it was accompanies by a downturn in sales for other goods, such as beauty products.

Shoppers are also opting more and more to buy from e-stores, she added.

Euronics marketing director Kristjan Terase agreed that sales of certain categories of goods have also clearly increased in recent days, including those mentioned by Kelt as well as refrigerators.

Electric toothbrushes, hair clippers, shavers and kitchen appliances have also been popular purchases, he said.

While Euronics stores remain open, Terase also said that more people were purchasing online.

Both spokespersons said that stocks were currently sufficient; Terase noted that while Euronics had anticipated running out early on the crisis, its central warehouse was on top of things.

Manuela Kelt said that supply shortages may occur more in May, June and July, but as developments were changing so fast, this was difficult to forecast accurately.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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