How the pandemic has impacted shopping


Courtesy of William Potter

As a result of the pandemic, people are mainly using online shopping to buy new, lucrative products.

Online shopping. Everyone does it! Many of us can admit to constantly scrolling through the Nordstrom app or getting mesmerized by a gorgeous pair of heels on the Steve Madden website. Online shopping has always been popular, but in 2020 it is becoming the “new normal.” Because of COVID-19, the number of online shoppers versus in-person shoppers has drastically changed. Restrictions and extra precautions have been taken since opening up stores again, but many people find online shopping to be more convenient and will continue to shop online rather than visiting a store.

To get more information about how sales and stores have changed throughout this crazy time, I interviewed three different employees of three different types of stores. These include a large retail store, a small local business, and a popular athletic clothing company. Before I conducted my interviews, I hypothesized that the small local business would not be doing as well as the large businesses because of lack of customers and advertising. Since these stores are all very different, I wanted to see how the pandemic has affected each one individually.

I started off by interviewing an employee of Lululemon. If you’re not familiar with the brand, Lululemon is known for its wide variety of highly-priced clothing. According to The Barron Daily, Lululemon is rated as one of the most popular athleisure stores among U.S. teens in 2020. Although the pandemic has taken a toll on some of their in-person business, their sales online have made up for it and “have been insane” according to Rachel, a Lululemon employee. With gyms closing and people staying home more, “People are working and working out from home, so they want both comfy and cute clothes 24/7,” she adds.

Next, I interviewed Lois Vespe, an employee at the local boutique, Finally The Perfect Gift. This store is commonly known for its cute and classy accessories. In response to the pandemic, Vespe says that they “have started selling masks, and they are one of our top sellers.” Since COVID-19, their online store is doing the best it’s ever done, and social media has helped promote their shop immensely.

Lastly, I interviewed an employee at American Eagle Outfitters, which sells a large and inclusive brand of clothing. American Eagle is also highly recognized as one of the best jean outlets in America. When interviewing Natalie, an employee at the store, I found out that their online shop has always been,”very successful and easy to manage.” Natalie also lets me know that since so many events are cancelled, some items have been doing much better than others. For example, their dressier items such as skirts and dresses have not been doing as well as they normally do, but their t-shirts and items from their Aerie line of loungewear have been bringing in most of their profits during the pandemic.

This pandemic has impacted everyone, but it has definitely helped a number of online businesses improve. Whether you’re lounging on the couch with nothing to do or rapidly trying to order a new outfit for the upcoming weekend, online shopping can always provide you with great options. Many stores have extensive websites that offer generous return policies, exclusive items and great customer service, all from the comfort of your own home.