Posted on June 2, 2020

Amazon Sees Strong Demand for Pepper Spray and Black Lives Matter Merchandise as Protests Rage

Annie Palmer, CNBC, June 1, 2020

Amazon shoppers are stocking up on pepper spray and Black Lives Matter merchandise as protests continue to erupt nationwide, according to sales rankings on its web site.

The e-commerce site lists self-defense items, educational books on racial justice and Black Lives Matter t-shirts as top-selling items across several categories of its Best Sellers page.


The Sports and Outdoors category showed pepper spray as the top-selling item, while a rechargeable taser was listed at No.44, illustrating that consumers are buying self-defense items amid protests that have turned violent in some areas of the country.

Outrage over the killing of Floyd appeared in the novelty clothing section of Amazon’s Best Sellers page, where two “I can’t breathe” t-shirts were among the top 10 best-selling items. One Black Lives Matter shirt ranks No. 60 in the best-selling clothing on Amazon, which is a significant rise from last Friday, when it didn’t appear among the top 1,000 best sellers in that category, said Juozas Kaziukenas, who runs the e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse.

In the Books category, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” is listed as the top-selling item, while “How to Be an Antiracist” is ranked third and “We’re Different, We’re the Same” is ranked seventh.