MYSTERY WIRE — The market for survival gear has changed a lot over the past decade, but it hasn’t moved far enough into the mainstream to anticipate the outlandish demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the realm of grizzled veterans in army surplus stores, disaster preparedness has graduated to Instagram and a trendy brand of survivalism where people will fork over $100 for a kit because they include the “much coveted N95 masks.”
That survival gear you must have right now? It’s probably on backorder.
In an interview with a range of business owners and operators, Wired delves into the 2020 brand of survivalism and the customers they serve.
“We are getting Black Friday levels of traffic almost every day, and we’re doing about a month in sales every week right now … . Coronavirus has sold us out.”Christian Schauf, founder of Uncharted Supply
The customers are usually from major cities, but there’s nothing unique beyond that. John Ramey, who sells gear at theprepared.com, says political persuasion and personality types don’t really matter these days. His website features an article about “bug out bags” and what you need to take with you if you decide to go off the grid.
Ramey also notes that the “extremist crap” that used to come before any attempt to sell products is largely gone as businesses today greet a new kind of customer.
At the trendy end of the spectrum, you’ll find a brand of survivalist few could have anticipated. The gotta-have products touted by the Kardashians, Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow are sold at pottery Barn and Nordstrom. Some of the products were designed for “everyday emergencies” … never intended to serve clientele in a cratering economy or a global pandemic.