Mar 20, 2020 - Economy

Coronavirus efforts shift consumer interest toward booze, guns

Empty beer and wine aisle.

A supermarket in Ashford, Ky., on March 16, 2020. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

The coronavirus epidemic has reshaped local economies across the country, as consumers respond to social distancing recommendations and business closures, a report by Yelp out Friday indicates.

What's happening: In just a week, consumer interest has shifted away from dine-in restaurants and nightlife, and toward interest in buying guns, booze and water.


  • Restaurants and nightlife, in particular, have seen a drop, as people look to avoid large groups of people. Per Yelp's data, consumer interest in the industries has dipped 54% and 69% respectively.
  • That comes as food delivery has seen a 59% increase, and interest in buying direct from farmers has increased 405%.
  • Interest in buying guns has risen 360%, and in buying water by 166%.
  • As gyms around the country close, interest in home fitness equipment has spiked 344%. Interest in parks has increased 53%, while hiking has climbed 116%.
  • Meanwhile yoga has sagged 38%, while martial arts and bowling have declined 33% and 43% respectively.

Of note: Both coasts, particularly the Northeast, have felt the effects more than the Midwest and Southeast.

Methodology: The analysis measured consumer interest by gauging the actions people took to connect with businesses on Yelp, like viewing business' pages or posting reviews. The data was gathered between March 8 and 18 and was limited to U.S. users.

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