Fitness, guns, seeing growth during coronavirus pandemic

Closure rates abruptly increased by 200% due to COVID-19, according to Yelp data, but these business categories are drawing more eyeballs

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The coronavirus has devastated thousands of local businesses across the country, but some industries have seen a surge in consumer interest.

Farmers markets, fitness equipment, outdoor sports and guns and ammunition have drawn more eyeballs with stay-at-home orders in place, Yelp's Economic Average report revealed Tuesday.

Fitness equipment is seeing a surge in growth during coronavirus pandemic. (iStock)

The publically-sourced restaurant and retail review website measured business closures, consumer interest searches and reviews during the coronavirus pandemic starting in March to observe the economic impact of the virus compared to previous disasters in the U.S. for its Yelp Economic Average report.

While closure rates rose by 200 percent, with consumer interest in local businesses plummeting by 50 percent, here are the industries that have seen the most growth:

Fitness equipment

With gyms and fitness companies closed around the country, more people have invested in at-home equipment from treadmills to stationary bikes and free weights to stay healthy and active while indoors.

Consumer interest in fitness and exercise equipment has been up by a whopping 437 percent since March 10, according to the Yelp report.

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And people are increasingly motivated to take socially distanced hikes in nature. The report also suggests that consumer interest in hiking is up by 95 percent.

Consumer interest in hiking is up by 95 percent, according to Yelp's economic average report. (iStock)

Guns and ammo 

Americans seem to be reacting to the coronavirus pandemic with increased consumer interest in guns. Searches and interest in firearm retailers have seen 191 percent growth, according to Yelp data.

GUN SALES SURGE AMID CORONAVIRUS 

And more people are buying them. Americans purchased around two million guns in the month of March alone, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data. It was the second most in-demand month for firearm sales behind January 2013, after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and following President Barack Obama's re-election, according to the Times.

Ammo.com has seen a 68 percent jump in sales in mid-February and early March, especially in North Carolina and Georgia, USA Today reported.

Consumer interest in guns has increased by 191 percent since the coronavirus, according to Yelp data. (Associated Press)

Community-supported agriculture 

With more Americans cooking at home and buying seeds to grow their own food, searches and interest related to community-supported agriculture is up by 407 percent.

CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN WILL PROMPT MORE AMERICANS TO COOK AT HOME 

Pet ownership 

A number of animal lovers have fostered and adopted pets while in quarantine. More consumers have searched for pet breeders (130 percent), according to Yelp data.

More Americans are adopting or fostering animals during the coronavirus pandemic. (iStock)

Fast-food and takeout

Fast-food restaurants and pizzerias shifted to delivery-only models and the ratio for customers searches for dining in on restaurant food to take out increased by 300 times in just a couple of weeks. As a result, more high-end restaurants and cocktail bars pivoted operations to create portable, to-go offerings.

Fast food restaurants and pizzerias have seen an uptick in takeout orders as restaurants across the country shuttered due to the virus. (iStock)

And while Chinese restaurants across the country saw a decline in business due to stigma from the virus, business-related searches and interest increased up to 63 percent since March 1, according to the report when delivery and take out started to be more in demand with stay-at-home guidelines in place.

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