Retro is making a comeback as consumers seek comfort

Maggie Whitley | April 2, 2020

#CovidCleaning has us reaching for the familiar

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we've observed an interesting dichotomy in consumer behavior: while consumers are embracing all things digital — from video conferences to telemedicine — they're also taking things offline and enjoying old-school pastimes.

As everyone digs through their closets, attics, and junk drawers to try to entertain their children (or themselves), they are uncovering treasures from the past and sharing on social media. We have seen a substantial amount of '80s and '90s nostalgia making a comeback. From records to computer games to toys — consumers are here for any distraction, no matter the year, make, or model.

Ways you can join the "retro comfort" trend:

  • Sport a retro t-shirt on your next video conference
  • Finish an '80s-themed puzzle
  • Decorate with or change your computer background to an old poster
  • Use a rock tumbler for your next craft project
  • Host a virtual sip 'n paint party
  • Get creative with LEGO bricks 
  • Have a Troll nearby to keep you company

collage of social media posts showing consumers engaging with retro goods

@FeeBooths, @beyondthebricktv, @applied.arts.nyc

What's the next shift in consumer behavior?

The uptick in nostalgia and affinity for all things retro is just one of many shifts we've observed through social media listening and online qualitative discussions. We employ these effective methods to understand how consumer behavior is changing now and how it will change in the future.