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Life in lockdown: Changes in consumer basket

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By Ayya Lmahamad

As people around the globe started to adjust to the next normal, new COVID-19 realities, consumer habits and behaviors showed a significant change.

COVID-19 pandemic started to change the life of the whole world since the first cases of the virus were reported in China in December 2019. By early April 2020, the virus started to spread and the world had recorded one million cases.

World face-to-face with new realities

With the new realities that emerged from the coronavirus pandemic, there have been substantial and lasting changes in the way people live, work and shop. Home turned to be the focus for living, working and shopping. The pandemic has accelerated the shift toward a more digital world.

With the first lockdowns wave of March 2020, much of the world was forced to stay at home and restricted to leaving the house only to buy the essential items from grocery stores or pharmacies. At that time, consumer’s baskets were ‘inspired’ by panic buying, which forced retailers around the world to limit the number of purchases of high-demand items.

After months of lockdown and social distancing, consumers have been forces to shop differently- reprioritizing what is essential and using online shopping more than ever before.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s survey entitled ‘COVID-19 and E-commerce’ examined how the pandemic has changed the way consumers use e-commerce and digital solutions. The survey covered Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey.

The researched outcomes show that the majority of the population started to use online shopping more often since the outbreak of COVID-19.

People started to spend more on pharmaceutical and health products, personal care, household products, education and online courses, tools, gardening, etc.

Hygiene and health are the two factors customers are more focused on nowadays. All household cleaners and hand sanitizers, soaps, cleaning gel, vitamins and supplements are at the top of consumer’s shopping lists.

Moreover, with the beginning of lockdown consumers started to spend more on electronics goods, as people were left to learn and work from home. If before lockdown the characteristics of home devices did not matter so much, then in the pandemic a normally working laptop or desktop computer became an item of prime necessity.

The spending on food and beverages also increased significantly. The initial rise in home cooking and baking, as well as home improvement, are remaining popular pastimes for consumers.

Meanwhile, during the lockdown, consumers lowered significantly their spending on cosmetics and sun care products, as people are not wearing make-up when working from home, stopped traveling during the pandemic and spent most of the time at home.

However, in the first quarter of 2021, a trend in increasing spending on clothing goods was observed. Perhaps, this is a kind of effect of the “symbolic end of the lockdown”, as of 2021 most of the countries started to ease the lockdown with the boosting of the vaccination process.

Similar trends in Azerbaijan

Mentioned trends in consumers behavior during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns were also observed in Azerbaijan.

Thus, the "panic buying" trend with the introduction of the first lockdown was observed in Azerbaijan as well. Consumer baskets were topped with food, pharmaceutical and health products at that time. Later on, consumers shifted to online shopping, the trend on which is still observed, despite the easing of the quarantine regime.

Moreover, with the introduction of the lockdowns and closing of the cafes and restaurants, the use of online food deliveries increased significantly in the country.

It is more likely to say that the habits formed during the pandemic will endure well beyond it, permanently changing values, attitudes, and behavior.

Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

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Armenian Aggression

Azerbaijan negotiating on UNESCO Mission’s visit to liberated territories – minister

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By Trend

Azerbaijan is conducting negotiations on visit of UNESCO Mission to its territories liberated from Armenian occupation [in the 2020 Second Karabakh War], Minister of Culture Anar Karimov told journalists on Sept.25, Trend reports.

According to Karimov, UNESCO has been informed about the conditions of Azerbaijan and the technical details of the organization of the mission.

"Azerbaijan expects from UNESCO a fair and impartial position, the implementation of the mission in accordance with the mandate without politicizing this issue," he said. "Azerbaijan is interested in the implementation of this mission and expects the investigation of the facts of the destruction of cultural and historical monuments in Karabakh [by Armenia], as well as appropriate assessment of the facts by the international community."

Therefore, Azerbaijan has always been a supporter of this mission and expects UNESCO to treat this issue with the same scrupulousness, added the minister.

Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia's PM, and the president of Russia.

A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Karabakh conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

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Armenian Aggression

Int’l organizations should investigate Armenia’s environmental terror – MP

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By Trend

International organizations should thoroughly investigate the environmental terror committed by Armenia in previously occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the country’s MP Iltizam Yusifov told Trend on Sept.25.

According to Yusifov, the speech of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the annual general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly at the level of heads of states and governments has political and historical significance.

He stressed that during the debates, the president touched upon the topic of the 44-day second Karabakh war [from late Sept. to early Nov.2020] and the upcoming tasks.

"The speech of the head of state testifies that Azerbaijan is on the path of justice, and nothing will force our country to turn away from it," the MP noted.

Having occupied Azerbaijani territories, Armenia inflicted economic and environmental damage there, he added.

"A preliminary assessment was carried out and international organizations were informed. The glorious Azerbaijani army defeated the Armenian armed forces in 44 days and liberated our lands from the occupation, but Armenia left behind destruction and an ecological catastrophe," Yusifov further said.

He also emphasized that Armenia was engaged in illegal activities, robbery of natural resources, pollution of water resources, destruction of flora and fauna in the territories uncontrolled not only by Azerbaijan, but also by the international community.

“During the occupation, Armenia blocked the Tartarchay river, and in several regions hundreds of thousands of hectares of land were left without water, that is, ecological terror was committed, "Yusifov said.

Besides, according to him, during the occupation, Armenian vandals caused great damage to the Basitchay reserve.

"They destroyed almost half of the forests on the territory of the reserve. As a result of Armenian barbarism, the ecosystem that has been forming here for centuries has been irreparably damaged," concluded the MP.

Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia's PM, and the president of Russia.

A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Karabakh conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

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Armenian Aggression

Iran to take part in exhibition on reconstruction of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh

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By Trend

Iran will take part in the first exhibition on the restoration, reconstruction and development of Azerbaijan's Karabakh on October 20-22, 2021, Iran's trade attaché to Azerbaijan Mehdi Babaei said, Trend reports citing Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI).

Babaei noted that the Iranian pavilion with the participation of the Tabriz International Exhibition Center will operate at the exhibition.

Those, who are interested in participating in this exhibition can get the necessary information from the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran.

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