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Year in Review: Top Merchandise Trends in 2020

Gabrielle Olya
·4 min read
Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting supplies
Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting supplies

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major effect on what Americans bought this year. Instead of spending money on work clothes and travel accessories, people bought PPE and home entertainment supplies. Everyday household items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies suddenly became hot commodities as people prepared to lock down at home, and stores ran out of yeast as quarantine baking became a common pastime.

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Whether you were stockpiling these goods or not, some were likely on your recent shopping lists. As the year comes to a close, take a look back at the top merchandise consumers bought in 2020.

Last updated: Dec. 4, 2020

Woman Doing Fitness Exercises On Mat In Bedroom.
Woman Doing Fitness Exercises On Mat In Bedroom.

Home Exercise Equipment

With gyms closed during lockdown periods in many places, Americans scrambled to create their own at-home gyms. Shopify noted a surge in Google searches for yoga and Pilates mats in 2020, as well as for exercise resistance bands. The YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike was one of the top-sellers during Amazon Prime Day this year, Rolling Stone reported, and Peloton sales surged 172% in its fiscal fourth quarter, CNN reported.

Puzzles
Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles and Board Games

Americans discovered there truly is a limit to how much Netflix you can watch, and resorted to old-school methods of staying entertained while staying safe at home. Both jigsaw puzzles and board games were trending merchandise this year, Shopify reported.

Green table with plant between pink chair and blue sofa in floral living room with wallpaper and poster.
Green table with plant between pink chair and blue sofa in floral living room with wallpaper and poster.

Furniture

The more time Americans spent at home, the more they spent trying to improve their living spaces. According to the Shopify analysis, consumers were particularly interested in upgrading their kitchen furniture, dining room furniture and rugs in 2020.

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face masks.
face masks.

Face Masks

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocated for the wearing of face masks to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, many cities and states began mandating face coverings in public places. This led to a surge of face mask sales in the spring of 2020, and the trend has carried on into the holiday season. Research conducted by the NPD Group found that 31% of holiday shoppers plan to buy face masks as stocking stuffers this year.

Seattle, WA / USA - circa March 2020: Bin filled with small Purell hand sanitizer bottles, perfect for attaching to bags.
Seattle, WA / USA - circa March 2020: Bin filled with small Purell hand sanitizer bottles, perfect for attaching to bags.

Hand Sanitizer

After experts recommended using hand sanitizer as a way to protect ourselves from the coronavirus, bottles began flying off shelves and became nearly impossible to find in stock anywhere.

Yeast
Yeast

Dry Yeast

When 2020 started, you probably never guessed that yeast would become such a hot item. But with people stuck at home, baking became a trendy way to keep entertained and relieve stress. During the four-week period that ended April 11, yeast sales jumped 410% year over year, according to market research firm Nielsen, USA Today reported. This high demand actually led to yeast shortages.

woman with disinfecting supplies
woman with disinfecting supplies

Disinfecting Wipes and Spray

Clorox and Lysol products have been in high demand since the pandemic hit in March, and they’re still difficult to find in stock. In September, Clorox CEO Benno Dorer said that disinfecting wipes likely won’t be fully stocked until 2021, San Diego’s CBS 8 reported.

Shopping cart full with products in a large supermarket.
Shopping cart full with products in a large supermarket.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is another unexpected item that became “hot” this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, consumers panic-hoarded toilet paper, and it became nearly impossible to find it in stock on store shelves or online. The second wave of surges in November led to another wave of panic-buying, with Targets and Walmarts across the country running low on supply.

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Disposable Gloves

Even though the CDC has stated that the risk of contracting the coronavirus via surfaces is very slim, many people stocked up on disposable gloves earlier this year to offer an added layer of protection when running errands.

Healthcare worker checking body temperature of a young sick man with contactless digital infrared thermometer.
Healthcare worker checking body temperature of a young sick man with contactless digital infrared thermometer.

Thermometers

Because having a fever can be a symptom of the coronavirus, many people bought thermometers in 2020. For a few weeks, it was very difficult to find them in stock anywhere.

Bangkok, Thailand - March 21, 2020 : A man playing Animal Crossing, a popular game during the quarantine, on Nintendo Switch.
Bangkok, Thailand - March 21, 2020 : A man playing Animal Crossing, a popular game during the quarantine, on Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch

Playing video games — specifically Animal Crossing — was a very popular way to stay entertained during stay-at-home orders. The Nintendo Switch was the gaming system everyone wanted, and it was tough to find it in stock anywhere earlier this year. Now gamers have turned their attention to the newly released PS5, which is “virtually impossible” to find in-stock, CNET reported.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Year in Review: Top Merchandise Trends in 2020