New Western Australian data has revealed a number of surprising retail winners of COVID-19-fuelled panic buying.
Bankwest has examined merchant trends across the state both prior to and during coronavirus measure periods to identify the retailers most affected by Western Australia’s slowing economy.
According to the data, panic buying in Australia’s largest state peaked in mid-March.
Butchers saw the largest increases to their turnover over this time, at 150 per cent.
Electrical appliance stores saw an 88 per cent increase in turnover, while pharmacies weren’t far behind at 79 per cent.
Supermarkets saw a 60 per cent increase over the same period.
For liquor stores, the peak of panic-buying occurred in late March, where a 62 per cent turnover increase was recorded.
All of the above sectors have since calmed down, with BankWest reporting that affected sectors are currently only elevated by 10 to 25 per cent.
It has meant that the panic-buying mentality has changed tact on the move into April, with bike shops a surprising winner.
Over the week of 1 to 7 April, the bank said the cycling sector had seen a 48 per cent increase in turnover.
Perhaps giving some indication into how isolated Australians are now choosing to spend their time, the data showed growth across nurseries and garden supplies (29 per cent), hardware (22 per cent) and electrical appliances (17 per cent).
On the other end of the spectrum, a number of merchants and sectors have been decimated by the social restrictions.
Bankwest said merchants in recreation services, such as sports stadiums and gyms, have bottomed out. They’ve posted a 100 per cent decline in turnover.
Travel agents and tour operators are close behind, having posted a 99 per cent drop in turnover.
Schools have also been hit hard, with recent school closures resulting in a 94 per cent drop across both elementary and secondary institutions.