Covid-19 Essentials with eight locations around the country may be the country’s first retail chain dedicated solely to products required because of an infectious disease.
With many U.S. stores closing during the coronavirus pandemic, especially inside malls, the chain has seized on the empty space, as well as the world’s growing acceptance that wearing masks is a reality that may last well into 2021, if not longer. Masks have evolved from a utilitarian, anything-you-can-find-that-works product into another way to express one’s personality, political leanings or sports fandom.
And the owners of Covid-19 Essentials are betting that Americans are willing to put their money toward covering where their mouth is. Prices range from $19.99 for a simple children’s mask to $130 for the top-of-the-line face covering, with an N95 filter and a battery-powered fan.
Covid-19 Essentials also carries other accessories for the pandemic, in a space that has a more established feel than a holiday pop-up store; permanent signage above its glass doors includes a stylized image of a coronavirus particle. Not that the owners want their products to be in demand forever.
The chain has locations in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, and is looking to open stores in California, where the wildfires have only added to the demand for masks.
Why it’s hot: As the pandemic sticks around, certain products have become essential while some have seen demand skyrocket. With many traditional retailers manufacturing and selling masks, it’s no surprise that there is now a dedicated retailer selling products associated with this ongoing pandemic that isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, unfortunately.
Hormel, producer of Black Label Bacon, wants you to “not just eat bacon, inhale it” with their new bacon breathable masks. “From now through October 28, meat lovers can sign up at BreathableBacon.com for a chance to win, and the winners will be announced on November 4,” according to Newsweek. Seems like a way to get a certain segment of the population (*cough, ahem*) to at least consider wearing masks.
For every face mask request, Hormel will donate a meal to Feeding America, up to 10,000 meals.
Singapore Airlines, which experienced a 99.5% drop in passengers during its first quarter, is turning two aircrafts into pop-up restaurants for two weekends in October and November. Tickets sold out in 30 minutes.
Singapore Airlines’ in-flight experience is legendary. Travel + Leisure has voted it the best international airline for 25 years in a row, and meals across all classes are designed by world-class chefs. So it makes sense that fans of the airline would be willing to pay for a gourmet meal, especially if they were already nostalgic for air travel.
Customers had the option of buying tickets in different classes, with a meal in a first class suite priced at $474 compared to an $39 economy class meal. Both meals will take place on planes at Singapore’s Changi Airport, which is the company’s hub. The airline says it will enforce social distancing, using only half of the 471 seats on the plane.
Why its hot
Brands in many industries are being forced to quickly find some way, any way, of generating profit and interest from consumers during COVID. This is an interesting way of staying relevant at a time when air travel is almost nonexistent. Not sure I could think of a less comfortable place to enjoy an expensive meal right now, but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless.
The singer, and founder of clothing brand Drew House, is teaming with Crocs for a limited-edition Classic Clog inspired by elements of his fashion brand. The shoes are designed in Drew House’s classic yellow hue and include eight custom Crocs’ charms, called Jibbitz, including the Drew House smiley face logo, rainbows, daisies and pizza slices, among others.
“As an artist, it’s important that my creations stay true to myself and my style,” Bieber said in a statement. “I wear Crocs all the time, so designing my own pair came naturally. With these Crocs, I just focused on making something cool that I want to wear.” —WWD
Of course, the collection sold out in a couple days and the Bieber Crocs have arrived on eBay listed for 4X the original price.
Why it’s hot:
It’s interesting to consider the ebb and flow of trendiness, and what ingredients seem effective in bringing a brand back from the brink. Like fine art, it doesn’t really matter what it is, when it comes to a trendy product. What matters is that the right people say it’s desirable, and thus it is.
Can art and advertising co-exist? Pop music seems to say a resounding “Yes!” Mainstream recording artists have become the new powerhouse endorsers, which speaks to pop music becoming ever more an advertising channel, rather than an art form.