Thousands have returned to having milk delivered to their doors, while computer monitor sales have doubled in a week as the nation begins working from home.
Milk and More, the UK’s largest milk and groceries delivery service, has reported an increase of 25,000 customers and is recruiting 100 milkmen and women as local deliverers said demand had “gone berserk”.
Meanwhile, home owners are using the enforced period of self-isolation to get improvement projects under way, with DIY stores and garden centres reporting a notable spike in sales. Gym equipment is selling out as fitness fanatics set themselves up to exercise at home.
Last week, Boris Johnson announced that all businesses should encourage employees to work from home wherever possible in a bid to halt non-essential travel, sparking a boom for certain businesses.
Having endured decades in which competition from cheaper supermarkets almost wiped them out, milkmen are reporting unprecedented demand.
Patrick Muller, the CEO of Milk & More, said: “We have been at the heart of the communities in which we serve for decades, but potentially we have never had such an important role as we do now in this current health crisis.”
The business has 1,000 milkmen and women who deliver more than 100 million glass one-pint bottles a year using electric floats.
Colin Henderson, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, who has been a milkman for 40 years, said: “The milk has gone berserk. I have got a pile of notes from customers and my round is taking an extra hour every day now. The dairy I work with said it is just manic.”
“I just hope that, after this is finished, people stay with us.”
Sales of computer monitors, keyboards and tracking devices such as mice and stylus pens are soaring week on week as workers set up makeshift offices at home, according to data trackers GfK.
Kelly Whitwick, the retail lead for market insights, said: “Following the Government instruction to stay at home and avoid crowded places, IT manufacturers and retailers are witnessing a sales uplift as homebound workers rush to invest in IT equipment to help them work comfortably from home.
She said sales of freezers, fridges, hair clippers and food deep fryers had also seen a sudden spike, while B&Q and John Lewis said they had seen “significant” increases in demand for DIY and gardening equipment.