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Input Stories

Consumers Go Back to “Normal”

COVID-19 changed the way people traveled, shopped, ate and more—but only briefly, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

Return to normal: Now, some two years after the pandemic’s onset, “many Americans are resuming their pre-pandemic habits: rocking out at crowded concerts, doing deadlifts next to strangers at the gym and stocking a standard supply of toilet paper. Airlines, restaurants and child-care centers, which relied on government loans to stay afloat during Covid-19’s peak, can now hardly keep up with demand.”

  • Concert ticket sales were up 45% as of February 2022 compared to the same period of 2019, according to Ticketmaster.
  • Membership levels at Planet Fitness surpassed those of pre-pandemic days in January 2022.

Streaming less: “At the same time, some pandemic stars like Peloton Interactive Inc., Netflix Inc. and Instacart Inc. have taken hits. From hoping that consumers had permanently shifted their behavior, the companies are now considering previously unthinkable changes,” such as lowered prices and valuations.

What’s up, what’s down: Spending on personal care items, such as deodorant, teeth whiteners, razors and cosmetics, has gone up in recent months, as have the number of in-person medical visits, birthday parties and restaurant visits.

  • On the decline are sales of cleaning products, hand sanitizer and streaming-service subscriptions.
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