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Next To Fly Off Shelves? Hair Dye And Clippers, According To Walmart CEO

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woman dying hair
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Hair dye and hair clipper sales are on the rise

As the COVID-19 pandemic forces Americans to stay at home and we enter into the second month of extreme social distancing and sheltering-in-place measure, the wants and needs of people are changing. While toilet paper and paper towels were initially some of the hottest commodities at stores, according to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, we have entered into the next stage of buying patterns that can primarily be grouped into at-home haircare products, as many of us are now being forced to cut and color our own locks.

“You can definitely see that as people have stayed home, their focus shifted,” McMillon said on Today Friday. “People are starting to need a haircut. You see more beard trimmers and hair color and things like that. It’s interesting to watch the dynamic play out.”

CNN reports that the first shopping wave included items necessary to prevent the virus, including masks, cleaning products, and hand sanitizers. For example, during the week ending March 7, hand sanitizer sales skyrocketed 470 percent from the year before, according to Nielsen data, while aerosol disinfectant product sales increased by an impressive 385 percent.

During the second week ending March 14, bath tissue, facial tissue, and paper towel products all saw triple-digit sales increases, while aerosol disinfectant sales spiked 519 percent.

During the third and fourth week, people shifted their focus to baking. Again, per Nielsen, during the weeks ending March 21 and March 28, baking yeast sales grew more than any other consumer packaged goods product — up a whopping 647 percent and 457 percent, respectively — over the same weeks in 2019. Spiral hams, a traditional Easter fare, also increased in popularity, with sales increasing 622 percent and 413 percent.

The next week, spiral hams were still dominating in popularity in addition to haircare items. According to Nielsen, hair clippers increased 166 percent and hair coloring products up 23 percent from the same period in 2019.

McMillon added that, in addition to food and consumable, other popular products over the last several weeks have included puzzles, games, and other timeless forms of entertainment, as well as education.

McMillon also urged shoppers to stop stockpiling goods in order for supply to be able to catch up with demand.

“There’s plenty of flow coming, but if everyone could just kind of manage and buy week-to-week rather than stocking up at this point, it would be helpful for everybody,” he explained.

While food inventory is “recovering and in good shape,” there are still items that are impossible to keep in stock, like hand sanitizer.

“Hand sanitizer has been a little harder to come by,” McMillon said. “Our associates have it and we’re working to put it on the shelf, but as soon as we do, it’s gone. Paper goods are continuing to sell out quickly. In the last five days, we’ve sold enough toilet paper for every American to have their own roll just in five days.”

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