European Retail and Coronovirus (COVID-19) using Google data

At the outset of this article, I would like to clarify we are merely presenting raw (unadjusted) data sources below. It is important not to over interpret the statistical significance of the results. The purpose is to provide a quick overview of how the Coronavirus (Covid-19) may be impacting the European Retail behaviour.

For the latest updates on scientific research news on COVID-19 I would highly recommend Nature magazine. Nature is widely regarded as the gold standard of peer reviewed scientific publications.

The mask buying frenzy

Let’s start with the interest in “masks”. Below are the Google searches on a relative index for “Masks” in the US, UK, and Italy, respectively.

Reflective of how (we) brits typically like to poke fun of Americans and the rest of Europe when we’re no better. There may be a recent nationwide surge in mascaraed parties to explain the persistent high UK interest in masks.


Harrods, the most famous luxury retail, and Westfield Stratford (UK’s largest shopping mall).

Last Sunday (7th March 2020) are reference…


Carrousel Du Louvre in Paris today (7th March 2020).

And last Sunday (1st March 2020) by comparison…



The famous Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II (high end) at various points today (7th March 2020).

And last Sunday (1st March) for reference below.

It’s been like this for a while.

A more everyday shopping mall, CityLife Shopping District, today (7th March 2020).


Today (7th March), with no reference of the past week.

I hope you will find these charts useful in drawing your own conclusions.


Alessio Farhadi


Further resources

  • Nature/Science journals – Peer (expert) reviewed and slower moving.
  • Twitter – Joe public reviewed at the speed it takes the eye-brain-finger neural connection to hit a button.
  • Investment bank research – Experts struggling to make successful prediction in their own domain, yet have the resources to access real expert views. Operating at the approval speed of the compliance department. Talks at GS a good example with Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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