The short span of time in which it was actually cool to give someone the gift of a package of toilet paper came and went: Now if you want to get someone’s attention, you’ll have to up the price tag to some real COVID-19 entertainment--most notably the Nintendo Switch or the Peloton, or if you’re short on cash puzzles, video games and hair dye.
In the early days of the pandemic, the hottest-selling items that experienced record sales surges including things like hand sanitizer (up 255% year-on-year), oat milk (up 441%) and medical masks (+319%). Guns, bibles, alcohol, cannabis and slippers--all things, which combined, paint a dangerous picture of the country’s mental stability--have also experienced sharp rises in sales.
But if you look at sales alone, the biggest numbers reflect the desire to stay entertained and keep busy during nation-wide stay-at-home measures.
These are the hottest-selling items on the market right now:
#1 Nintendo Switch
Nintendo, which released earnings on Thursday, showed an annual profit surge of 41%, while Q1 profits tripled from the previous quarter, making this Nintendo’s highest profit in nine years.
That’s because everyone wants a Nintendo Switch, and sales were already good prior to the global pandemic. During the last fiscal year, Nintendo sold more than 21 million units. In the three months prior to March 30th, Nintendo sold 3.29 million units--a 33% surge over the same 2019 period.
The fastest-selling game on Nintendo has been “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, which sold over 13 million copies in the first six weeks of 2020. Under quarantine, the game allows people to virtually visit each other’s own private islands, filling in an apparent social contact gap and opening up a fantasy world in which people can create their own COVID-free paradise.
It also helps when high-profile figures such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez join in and invite the masses along.
It’s possible that COVID-related supply chain, sales and R&D issues could trip Nintendo up, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the company is already planning to unleash five new video games this month alone.
#2 Video Games
Continuing on the same theme, for obvious reasons, video game sales are soaring. And while “Animal Crossing” takes the lead, a lineup of others are also experiencing golden days. All together, sales of video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards surpassed $1.6 billion in March alone.
Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” is breaking all its previous “Call of Duty” records, with sales at $1.52 billion in Q1 2020, up 21% over the same period last year.
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" has topped 60 million players since its launch March 10.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) reported adjusted sales of $1.522 billion and earnings of 58 cents per share--beating out Street expectations of 38 cents per share.
From Electronic Arts, Fifa has accrued more than 25 millions players, while “Madden NFL 20” says it’s got more players than ever before, and “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” has 10 million users.
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) reported adjusted earnings of $1.31 per share for fiscal Q4, beating consensus estimates of 97 cents a share. Adjusted revenue (net bookings) was $1.21 billion.
With gyms closed down and everyone working out from home, stationary bikes sales are surging, with one expensive name at the forefront: Peloton sales topped $524 million in its most recent quarter with sales jumping 66% over the same period last year.
No matter that the bike costs $2,245 and the Pelton treadmill, $4,295. The number of subscribers doubled late last month to 886,000. Also last month, the company said it held its largest class ever, with more than 23,000 people streaming from home.
Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) crushed Wall Street expectations all around, but now the question is: How much bigger is this growth runway?
True, Pelonton has greatly benefited from the pandemic, and also seized on the opportunity early with by boosting sales and marketing expenses by over 50%, but what happens once the pandemic is over and gyms reopen?
By Michael Kern for Safehaven.com
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