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Quarantine Hobbies and Global Trends

Quarantine has been a crazy time for just about everyone, and being confined to my apartment every day has left me feeling a little like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. But the monotony has driven a lot of people to try new hobbies and find creative ways to stay busy. Here’s a few ways W5’ers and the rest of America have been passing their time.

Video Games

One W5’er has been spending some time playing her favorite online games her friends. She suggested one to me called Bonk.io which is equal parts fun and confusing. Video games have seen a huge surge in demand as quarantine has many people finding themselves stuck inside more than usual. Consoles, especially the Nintendo Switch, have been sold out for months, and many production facilities in China have experienced shutdowns as a result of the virus, further exacerbating the production shortage. The Switch is selling anywhere from $400-$600 on Amazon and eBay, about 33-100% above retail. It’s a great time to play video games, but only if you can get your hands on them.

Home Improvement

One thing that it seems like everyone is doing is working on projects around the house and yard, and in the case of one W5’er a treehouse! It seems this is a theme isn’t limited to W5 as every time I pass a Lowe’s or Home Depot the parking lot is always full. Both companies were quick to roll out curbside pickup options and have experienced growth while other companies are feeling the squeeze. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot saw strong revenue growth this past quarter as people took their time at home to spruce things up.

Video Streaming

It can be hard to find something to do at night when you can’t go out – and many are turning to their TVs. Nearly everyone at W5 has been streaming a show during the lockdown. I have personally been enjoying Community on Netflix. Netflix saw over 15.8 million new subscribers join last quarter, nearly double the number expected. If you have any good recommendations for series or movies that are streaming online please let me know!

Biking

With many gyms closed and the constant feeling of being cooped up bike sales have surged. Many of us at W5 have been in on the craze and are spending lots of time outdoors riding. A fellow market research group, The NDP Group, reported that bike sales have shot up 121% a compared to a year ago. In my hometown it was reported that the local bike shop owner had to close for a day just to assemble new bikes for the sales floor and manufacturers can’t keep up with demand.

Exercise

While America, and W5’ers, try to find ways to avoid the Quarantine 15, sales of home fitness equipment have skyrocketed. Reuters reports a 130% increase in home fitness equipment. In the article, a fitness equipment supplier was quoted saying demand was, “exceeding Black Friday levels, every day since March 13..” Additionally, many gyms are now offering “virtual memberships” that offer access to classes and training online. Getting outside for a run is one of the only things keeping me sane and it’s nice to see I’m not the only one feeling a bit cagey.

A few messages on Slack and email caught me up to date on what everyone at W5 is up to, and it turns out we have been spending our time in similar ways as everyone else. If you’ve been passing the time in quarantine in any unique or interesting ways, or you just have a good book or movie recommendation please let us know!

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