Weekly mask sales in dollars had been declining in June and into July, according to Adobe Analytics’ Digital Economy Index, which tracks sales data directly from a majority of the top 100 US web retailers. They’ve been rising since the week beginning July 21. According to the latest data, mask sales for the week beginning Aug. 4 were up 40% over the prior week.
“The mask buying behavior that we saw last year into the pandemic is back,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst with Adobe Digital Insights. “As information about the number of new cases and hospitalizations become known, consumers are reacting to it.”
Some sellers see a pickup
Last year, the pandemic turned reusable face masks into a wardrobe staple. Sellers big and small benefited from the trend. Etsy said cloth masks had erupted into the hottest new product category on its platform last summer with as many as 110,000 sellers on its marketplace having sold as many as 29 million face masks, totaling $346 million in the second quarter of 2020.
But earlier in the summer season, an easing of mask-wearing guidelines from the US government, along with a rise in vaccination rates and falling Covid-19 cases, prompted a cooling of mask sales for some sellers.
Henriquez, who made $212,000 in mask sales in 2020 from her Etsy store LittleLadyAHomemade, was ready to move on from masks to other business ideas for her Etsy store.
But now she’s back to making face masks again.
Last year, during her peak month of April, she was selling 200 masks a day and making about $1,500 in daily sales. “Our average for the past 30 days is 500-700 masks a day and making daily sales of about $5,000,” said Henriquez, adding that she hired five people last month to ramp up mask production because of demand. Henriquez has currently priced her masks at $9 to $10.99 per mask. That’s double the price she was charging for them last year.
At their Etsy shop MamaShawStitchery, Jacki Shaw and her daughter Katie are seeing increased weekly orders for weekly cloth sales in July through August compared to May when their masks sales were cooling off to a handful of weekly orders. “We’re making at least 100 [cloth] masks a week and lately the orders are for multiple masks in one order,” said Katie.
Half of the mask orders are for kids masks, said Jacki, who sews all of the masks. “This might be because of back to school, too,” said Katie.