Since the COVID-19 outbreak began more than a year ago, Taiwanese consumers have developed a penchant for sanitation products and cosmetics that has led to unexpected opportunities for some businesses, retail sources said.
During the pandemic, consumers have been buying larger amounts of cleaning supplies, such as medical-grade alcohol, antibacterial soap, disinfectant sprays, wet wipes and hypochlorous acid cleaning solution, a Watson’s Personal Care Stores official said.
Demand for these items grew several times and shortages of 75 percent alcohol solution were particularly acute until Watsons took measures to maintain adequate supplies, the official said.
A Pxmart spokesperson said sales of bleach, liquid and bar soap, and alcohol hand wipes remained high, while a Carrefour spokesperson said sales of washers that utilize steam or hot water for better sanitization had gone up during the pandemic.
A spokesperson for smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp said that sales of its previously unsuccessful automatic soap dispenser had increased since the virus’ outbreak.
Meanwhile, the requirement to wear masks in public has seemingly led to an increased interest in eye makeup.
Online retailer Momo.com said that sales of eye makeup had nearly doubled last year, with eye shadow palettes being the most popular.
Drug chain Cosmed said that sales of waterproof mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow had surged, claiming the top three spots for its most popular items.
Department store Shin Kong Mitsukoshi said that consumers have become more interested in skincare products that protect the skin against irritation and allergies, which might be caused by prolonged mask wearing.
Ointments featuring plant extracts that are billed as environmentally friendly and capable of protecting the skin are fast becoming one of the company’s best sellers, while breathable and hydrating foundations are becoming more popular, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi said.
As Taiwanese reduce unnecessary contact with others by cooking at home, supermarkets across the country are reporting rising profits from food sales, including fresh meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, a source familiar with the industry said.
Sales of canned foods and healthy, organic food products doubled last year, they added.
A trend of exercising at home rather than at gyms has also led to an increase in sales of home exercise equipment, an online survey by Momo.com found.
From February last year to the end of December, sales of home exercise equipment increased 50 percent from the same period a year earlier, the survey showed.
Buyers of home exercise equipment tended to be 30 to 50 years old, and 60 percent of them were women, Momo.com said, adding that they mainly favored abdominal or full-body workout equipment, including ab rollers, treadmills and resistance bands.
Male consumers preferred equipment such as weights, dumbbells and weight training chairs, it said.
HTC Corp has rolled out a series of virtual reality and augmented reality games via the Viveport store.
An HTC spokesperson said that its fitness-centric games have sold well since the COVID-19 outbreak and a new series of games are being planned to help people stay fit amid the pandemic.
Additional reporting by Yang Ya-ming
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