The Boredom Business is Booming

February 23, 2021

A recent article in the NYT highlights the "Boredom Economy” and has some interesting tidbits. 

The basic premise. Life has become ‘more muted’ during the pandemic – there is less hanging out with friends/family, less travel and less leisure activities in general (eating out, going to the movies etc.).  Ok, nothing new there so far…but, read on.

This makes people more bored which in turn shapes what we buy and how we think.  Duh.

But then the article gets better and more useful…here is a rundown of all the major points:

Online trading and GameStop

  • “Im bored i have 8k in free money what can i invest in that will make at least a little profit,” a Reddit user biged42069 wrote on Wall Street Bets => which potentially led to GameStop.

  • Jennifer Schulp, director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute, testified during the GameStop hearings last week that “more time at home during the pandemic probably even played a role.”

Nowhere to go
Foot traffic at movie theaters, restaurants and museums cratered more than 50 percent in the early days of pandemic lockdowns.  It’s still around 25 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to an analysis by SafeGraph.

New hobbies

  • Remember the bread-making frenzy earlier in the pandemic last year? Yeast at grocery stores sold out; sales of loaf pans jumped nearly 60 percent last year.

  • Puzzle saleshave skyrocketed.

  • Gardening hastaken off as a hobby

  • Scotts Miracle-Grosales increased more than 30 percent last year to a record $4.13 billion. This spurred the company to run its first Super Bowl commercial ever.

Home improvement
According to the NPD Group, 81 percent of consumers in the United States purchased home improvement products in the six months ended in November. Sherwin-Williams said it had record sales in the fourth quarter and for the year.

Video games and self-help/care
No surprise that video games sales have boomed to help keep us occupied. So have things to help relieve the stress of the pandemic including self-help books, candles and massaging appliances.

It’s not all positive behaviors… a study in September by American Addiction Centers, “Booze vs. Boredom,”reported that one-third of those surveyed said boredom during the pandemic had prompted them to drink more. Alcohol sales are up big time.

At the end of the day, there is no doubt the world is changing/has changed, and hopefully this helps you keep track of some of the changes.

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