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Boise company finds an increase in sales of bicycles, alcohol, and guns since the pandemic began

"Bicycle shops in shops in Boise have been slammed, they have had more business than they know what to do with over the past couple of weeks," the CEO said.

BOISE, Idaho — Dan Price, the CEO of Boise-based Gravity Payments, says he has been able to track what people are spending their money on since the coronavirus pandemic hit in mid-March. According to his business's data, some surprising industries are booming while staple businesses are faltering.

"Restaurants are still down between 60%, and 68%, at the bottom they were down by 77%," Price said. "Individual restaurants that are using an online ordering system, they are doing on average double the businesses of restaurants that are not."

Price's data also shows that nationally, people are not buying outfits or planning any trips.

"Clothing has been down, it has been hit really hard," Price said. "Clothing has been down 70% to 80% plus since the pandemic started. The businesses that are most squeezed are any type of events business or travel business, many of those have gone down to zero."

Alcohol sales, on the other hand, have been through the roof.

"It has sky-rocketed," Price said. "In some weeks it has been as much as 200% to 300% of what it typically is."

Gun and ammunition sales have also sky-rocketed.

"Gun sales also were through the roof, especially for the beginning part of the pandemic."

In Boise specifically, Gravity Payments' data on shopping information highlight a trend, which Price found especially surprising.

"Bicycle shops are up almost 200% from their normal sales," Price said. "I wonder if it is just people are home, they can't go to the gym and they are exercising outdoors, especially with the weather getting nicer."

Price added that he expects restaurant sales locally and nationally to slowly start to pick back up now that those businesses have started to re-open.

Gretchen Parsons is an anchor, reporter and producer at KTVB since 2016. You can follow her on Instagram @gretchenparsonsKTVB or  @gretchenKTVB on Twitter.

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