Americans are prepping for the post-COVID world… by buying deodorant and toothpaste

Sales are up for deodorant, toothpaste, luggage, and condoms. But down for toilet paper and baking soda.


June 2, 2021

With baking soda! (Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

When the masks come off, the deodorant goes on.

As more and more states walk back COVID restrictions, America’s largest retailers are seeing surging sales in cosmetic and personal hygiene products.

TLDR: People want to look good at <6ft.

We’re talking to strangers again…

and it’s awkward.

Sales of personal hygiene products like deodorant, teeth whiteners, face creams, and shaving equipment are at post-COVID highs.

Not to be left out, apparel, activewear, and travel accessories are seeing noticeable bumps over last year too:

  • Walmart saw luggage sales climb +400% last quarter
  • At Target, apparel sales are up +60%, driven by demand for swimwear and dresses
  • Even sexual health products (read: condoms) are up +32% from a year ago

Because quarantine is so last season

The recent sales surge is still smaller than the paper and cleaning products boom during the early months of COVID restrictions. Sales for toilet paper and disinfectant wipes tripled in that time.

Today, quarantine staples like toilet paper and baking supplies are down from this same period last year (-18.3% and -35.6%, respectively).

But according to retail executives, the post-quarantine buying shift is well underway. We’re just waiting for the appropriate time to blast Future’s “Mask Off” song in the club.

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