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Very.co.uk reveals UK’s most searched for pandemic products

Games consoles were the most searched for non-food retail items, according to new data; LEGO and L.O.L. Surprise also feature.

New data shows that games consoles are the most searched for non-food retail items since the start of the pandemic in the UK, as gamers raced to bag the latest launches and families strived to stay entertained while at home, according The Very Group, operator of Very.co.uk.

The online-only retailer – which sells everything from dresses and TVs to beds and toys – has compiled a list of the 20 most searched for products on Very.co.uk since the first national lockdown began on 23 March 2020, with games consoles – including PS5, Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch – taking the top spot.

These were closely followed by TVs (two), iPhones (three) and laptops (four), with Nike trainers making up the top five.

Other fitness items such as Apple Watch (10), Fitbit (17) and treadmills (20) were also highly sought after.

LEGO’s popularity continued throughout lockdown – further boosted by a range of new product launches – coming in at number eight in the most searched for league table, while L.O.L. Surprise toys made number 16.

Very.co.uk also reported that there were some dramatic swings in search demand as soon as the pandemic struck. During the week of the first national lockdown announcement, searches referencing garden DIY terms surged 2,941% compared to the week prior.

Meanwhile, a lockdown favourite started to bubble up. Searches referencing hot tubs – which reached number nine in the most searched list – increased by 663% during the week of the first lockdown, compared with a week earlier.

In addition, since 23 March 2020, searches relating to home office, such as ‘office’, ‘printer’ or ‘desk’, were up 186% compared to the comparable period a year earlier.

“These results lay bare our pandemic priorities, as well as some interesting changes in what we’ve all been searching for,” commented Sam Perkins, md retail at The Very Group. “In almost every case – from consoles and hot tubs to TVs and garden furniture – we’ve been looking for things to improve the stay-at-home experience during lockdown.

“When you mix two huge and highly anticipated console launches with a nation that’s stuck indoors, gaming was always likely to top the table. However, some trends are perhaps more surprising, like the dramatic upturn in appetite for hot tubs or the sudden increase in searches for curtains.”

Sam continued: “But it can all turn on one announcement, just as we saw on 22 February 2021. Suddenly, UK families focused on back to school and have now turned an eye to what they’ll wear when they finally do get to socialise with friends.

“Following the successful vaccine rollout and the gradual lifting of restrictions up to the summer, we expect search and buying patterns to begin returning to their pre-pandemic norms, which will likely benefit fashion, in particular, with more of us socialising.”

Top 20 most searched for items on Very.co.uk from 23 March 2020 to 26 February 2021:

  1. Games console
  2. TV
  3. iPhone
  4. Laptop
  5. Nike trainers
  6. Curtains
  7. iPad
  8. LEGO
  9. Hot tub
  10. Apple watch
  11. Wardrobe
  12. Vacuum cleaner
  13. Garden furniture
  14. Trampoline
  15. Desk
  16. L.O.L. Surprise
  17. Fitbit
  18. Wallpaper
  19. Airpods
  20. Treadmill

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