More: Cannabis, up 135.6%

Dry and trimmed cannabis buds stored in a glas jars. Medical cannabis
Soru Epotok / Shutterstock

Pandemic got you down? Well, why not get a little lift? That appears to be the logic for a huge number of shoppers, as the cannabis supply chain was overwhelmed at the onset of the pandemic.

The Ontario Cannabis Store told Global News in March that it received 3,000 orders on a single Saturday — an 80% increase over an average Saturday.

Cannabis sales were up in every province in April, with the sole exception of Prince Edward Island.

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Less: Jewellery, luggage and leather, down 79%

Jewelry diamond rings and necklaces show in luxury retail store window display showcase
Kwangmoozaa / Shutterstock

Oh, to be donning my finest pearls for a night on the town. Unfortunately, most social excursions are still postponed, so there’s no reason to buy that fly leather jacket, either.

The same goes for luggage, as almost no one is taking trips abroad. You could use them to wheel your clothes back and forth from the laundry room, perhaps.

Even wedding rings aren’t selling like they used to, as couples wait until they can gather more of their friends and family together before hosting the big day.

More: Game consoles, up 39.9%

The guy is playing on the console
korobskyph / Shutterstock

With few options for entertainment outside, many people are opting to get lost in virtual worlds, instead.

The spike in consoles, specifically, suggests the pandemic has either created a legion of new gamers or inspired casual fans to upgrade their hardware.

The numbers might have been even higher, if the popular Nintendo Switch didn’t sell out across the country. Once the coronavirus hit, production of the console stalled, and retailers couldn’t satisfy the demand for months.

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Less: Clothing, down 77.9%

sale, fashion, consumerism and people concept - happy young woman with shopping bags choosing clothes in mall or clothing store
Syda Productions / Shutterstock

With many office workers doing their job from home, and ordering in surpassing dining out, you might wonder if there’s any point to getting out of your pajamas at all.

Who is going to bother getting gussied up when no one’s going to admire you? Although, new shirts might be selling better than pants, since people can still see those on Zoom calls.

Sales of footwear plummeted as well, by 77%. That’s what happens when the only shoes you need are slippers to get from the couch to the fridge.

More: Outdoor furniture, up 38.5%

Beige garden furniture with striped pillows on a wooden terrace with pink flowers and poufs
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock

Since you can’t take that trip to Yellowstone anymore, you might as well spend your vacation fund furnishing your own slice of the great outdoors.

Canadians have taken this time to freshen up their patios and backyards, buying picnic tables, adirondack chairs and parasols.

That way, everyone trying out gardening for the first time will have a nice shady spot to enjoy the fruits (and flowers) of their labour.

Less: Cars, down 66.8%

Cars For Sale Stock Lot Row. Car Dealer Inventory
Mikbiz / Shutterstock

No summer road trip. No visits to Grandma’s house. No obligation to go into the office. With the exception of weekly grocery runs, many vehicles are just sitting in the garage.

They’re staying parked at dealerships, as well. Some people are buying cars so they don’t have to get on crowded buses or trains, but overall numbers are way down compared to last year.

Sales of the fuel used to power those automobiles dropped sharply as well (-56.5%), as did sales of recreational vehicles (-54.4%), parts, accessories and supplies (-41.5%).

More: Fitness equipment, up 24.1%

Morning workout routine in home gym. Fitness motivation and muscle training concept. Man in sneakers tying shoelaces in sunlight. Athlete starting exercise with dubbell weight.
Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock

Pandemic or no, the gains must go on. As emergency orders shut down all kinds of public spaces, health-conscious Canadians and diehard gym rats took matters into their own muscular hands.

Sales of fitness gear surged as people set up their own home gyms with workout benches, dumbbells, resistance bands and pull-up bars.

Stores rapidly sold out, forcing slowpokes to find other ways to stay fit. Lifting canned soup and jugs of water isn’t quite the same.

Less: Cosmetics and fragrances, down 20.7%

Female customer testing lipstick in make-up shop
Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock

During the pandemic, your biggest excursion might be walking from the front door to the mailbox.

You’re at very little risk of running into your friends or your boss, and your pets will love you no matter how you look (or smell). As a result, fewer people are buying makeup and perfume.

Come to think of it, preserving your natural scent is a good tactic to ensure people keep six feet away.

More: Food, up 13.2%

At the Supermarket: Handsome Man Uses Smartphone and Looks at Nutritional Value of the Canned Goods. He's Standing with Shopping Cart in Canned Goods Section.
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock

Remember the panic-buying arc of this story? When it became clear that the coronavirus was a serious threat, shoppers stockpiled everything from lemons to poultry, leaving nothing but empty shelves behind.

An April poll from the Angus Reid Institute found 68% of respondents were buying more food so they didn’t need to go to the store as often.

Statistics Canada pointed to big increases in sales of staples like eggs and dairy products (19.1%) and fresh meat and poultry (22.2%) as well as packaged, dry goods (20.4%) that could sustain people through a long hibernation at home.

More: Home and garden supplies, up 10.2%

Portrait of young female shopper walking through indoor garden store looking at camera smiling.
Lyubov Levitskaya / Shutterstock

As the weather improved, and people had a lot more time on their hands, homeowners turned to long-neglected hobbies — like finally starting that vegetable patch.

Green thumbs have been cropping up all over the country as Canadians spend more on both live plants and seeds.

While there were surely a few doomsday preppers in there building up their personal seed storehouses, many people reported a desire to return to a simpler time.

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About the Author

Daniel McIntosh

Daniel McIntosh

Former Staff Writer

Daniel was formerly a staff writer for MoneyWise.

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