Sales of reusable face masks, which had begun to cool earlier this summer, have reversed course as the Delta variant spreads across the United States.
Weekly dollar mask sales fell in June and July, according to Adobe Analytics’ Digital Economy Index, which tracks sales data directly from the majority of the top 100 U.S. web retailers. They have been increasing since the week of July 21. According to the latest data, mask sales for the week of August 4 increased by 40% compared to the previous week.
More than 98% of US residents now live in an area where there is a ‘high’ or ‘substantial’ risk of community transmission of Covid-19, up from 19% of residents just a month ago, with the sharp turn in large partly motivated by the highly contagious Delta variant and low vaccination rates in many areas.
The rapid spread of the Delta variant has also led to an alarming number of new average coronavirus cases in the United States which have increased ninefold since early July, and hospitalizations are at their highest rate since February.
“The mask buying behavior we saw last year in the pandemic is back,” said Vivek Pandya, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “As information about the number of new cases and hospitalizations becomes known, consumers are responding to it.”
Some sellers see a pickup
Last year, the pandemic turned reusable masks into a wardrobe staple. Sellers big and small have taken advantage of the trend. Etsy said cloth face masks burst into the hottest new product category on its platform last summer with as many as 110,000 sellers in its marketplace selling up to 29 million face masks. , totaling $346 million in the second quarter of 2020.
But earlier in the summer season, a relaxation of US government guidelines on mask-wearing, along with an increase in vaccination rates and a drop in Covid-19 cases, caused mask sales to cool for some. sellers.
New mask orders for Etsy seller Gabriela Henriquez had plunged as much as 70% in early May the day after the CDC announced on May 13 that people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to wear masks. mask or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except in certain circumstances.
The CDC has since revised those guidelines in response to the Delta variant threat, urging vaccinated people in some parts of the country to resume wearing masks indoors in public spaces.
Henriquez, who made $212,000 in mask sales in 2020 at her Etsy shop LittleLadyAHomemade, was ready to move from masks to other business ideas for her Etsy shop.
But now she is back to making face masks.
Last year, during its peak month of April, it sold 200 masks a day and made around $1,500 in daily sales. “Our average over the past 30 days is 500 to 700 masks a day and we’re making daily sales of around $5,000,” Henriquez said, adding that she hired five people last month to ramp up production. masks due to demand. Henriquez has currently priced his masks between $9 and $10.99 per mask. This is double the price she asked them last year.
At their Etsy store MamaShawStitchery, Jacki Shaw and her daughter Katie are seeing an increase in weekly orders for weekly apparel sales from July through August compared to May when their face mask sales cooled to a handful of weekly orders. “We redo at least 100 [cloth] masks per week and lately orders are for multiple masks in one order,” Katie said.
Half of the mask orders are for children’s masks, said Jacki, who sews all the masks. “It might also be because of the back-to-school season,” Katie said.
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