IN these testing times when we are confined to our homes and looking for entertainment and escapism, a range of products – some surprising and some not so much – are experiencing rocketing sales.


Cold storage sales have surged amid the spate of panic buying around the world and with many of the appliances made in China – where the coronavirus originated – supplies are now at a standstill, meaning sold-out stores will be slow in restocking. Figures from appliance firm – which accounts for a fifth of the UK’s home appliance sales – show sales are up 200% on this time last year.

Games consoles?

As awareness rose earlier this month that homeschooling was a likely prospect, a rush on games consoles have seen many stores left out-of-stock as desperate parents evidently opted to splurge on technology to help pass the time during a lengthy lockdown. The Nintendo Switch has sold out across the UK from the official Nintendo store, John Lewis and Smyths, with more stock said to be arriving next month.

Hot tubs?

Again, as the lockdown seemed inevitable, hot tubs also began selling out, with reports on social media of "hot-tub panic buying". Even movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger got in on the act. Just days ago, he posted a video online pleading with people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, recording the film while relaxing in his own hot tub and smoking a cigar. This didn’t go down that well with some social media users who accused celebrities of “missing the mark with your social distancing videos from your private hot tubs”.


While people all over the world have been panic buying tins of food and bags of pasta and flour – having already cleared the shelves of antibacterial hand soap and hand gel – it seems America has other priorities.

Sales of guns and ammunition have been rocketing across the United States, with long lines of customers have been forming outside gun stores. One gun retailer in North Carolina said: "We are experiencing a massive rush to buy guns and ammunition as people feel the need to protect themselves and their families.”


With no option to go to the cinema or theatre, streaming services, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and the new Disney+, as well as music services such as Spotify, are gaining new subscribers and carving out a new role as the providers of the only current opportunities to have collective cultural experiences.

Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ and Facebook have also all agreed to lower bandwidth use – which reduces video quality – across Europe as part of a bid to reduce strain on the wifi networks.

And vouchers?

Campaigns have been mobilising on social media asking customers to buy vouchers from their favourite stores and service suppliers, such as hair salons or restaurants, to ensure small businesses still have money coming in and to pledge future custom for a golden time when we can once again live as we please.