COVID-19 has sent a shockwave through economies across the globe. But, despite the downturn, some sectors saw growth during this most testing of times. Here's a look at some of the businesses who are fighting back against the crisis.
There can be no denying that coronavirus has had a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. From how we work to the ways we communicate—the pandemic has changed everything. The financial impact of COVID-19 has been monumental too with markets across the world facing uncertain futures. However, several industries have experienced growth since lockdown began.
So, to bring some hope in these dark times, we've put together a list of six industries that have continued to thrive during the coronavirus pandemic.
With lockdown forcing pretty much everyone to stay at home, people have increasingly been turning to the internet to get their shopping done.
From online groceries to luxury items, numerous e-commerce retailers have seen a surge in demand. For example, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, has seen his fortune grow by $24 billion amid the downturn.
But it's not just the retail giants who have pivoted to an e-commerce focus. Small businesses who were previously not trading online have adapted quickly, such as Stoke-on-Trent craft beer specialist Bottle Craft, who built and launched a webstore in just two days to fulfil customer demand.
Courier and take-out services
The boom in online shopping during the crisis has had a knock-on effect for other industries. In particular, there has been an increased need for courier services. There have even been landmark partnerships formed, such as Aldi teaming up with Deliveroo to deliver grocery essentials across the East Midlands.
Restaurants have been hit particularly hard by the lockdown. But many have adjusted their offering to a takeaway format, attracting new customers in the process. Similarly, several acclaimed restaurants are providing meals in frozen or meal-kit form—an ingenious way to provide an à la carte dining experience at home.
Gifts and occasions
Celebrating special occasions with friends and loved ones has become all-but-impossible for many people during lockdown. It's for that reason that the gifting and personalised card industry has seen a boost in recent months.
Referral marketing platform, Mention Me, revealed data that showed gift brands acquired 415% more new customers this Easter compared to last year.
It seems to be the case that while people might not be able to be physically close to friends and family, they can show affection through gifts and meaningful gestures.
As a nation of DIY enthusiasts, it was only natural that, if faced with weeks of isolation at home, the UK would turn to carrying out home and garden maintenance. The effect on the DIY industry was bigger than expected, though. Many popular stores such as B&Q were overwhelmed when doors opened, leading to long queues.
The reaction does show, though, that there remains a customer appetite for spending in the sector. And it's not just the UK that has dived into home improvements. In New Zealand and Australia, seed suppliers had to pause trading due to being unable to cope with demand.
Health and fitness
With government advice promoting outdoor exercise and a nation keen to stay fit, fitness and health brands have seen an upturn during the crisis. Cycling has spiked in popularity, with major retailers selling out of bikes and the government considering infrastructure change to support cycling.
Despite national gym closures, personal fitness experts have capitalised on the lockdown by offering online classes and tuition. From comprehensive courses for specialist strength training to Joe Wicks positioning himself as the UK's PE teacher, the forced pivot to digital has been profitable for many fitness professionals.
As with many areas of retail, bookshops were expected to face severe losses once lockdown was put in place in the UK.
But, thanks to a trend for people showing off their coronavirus reading lists on social media, bookshops that were able to move to mail order have seen sales remain steady. The work of these bookshops seems to be having an effect on wider society, too—research has shown that 41% of UK adults are reading more books following lockdown.
The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic is just one aspect of this devastating crisis. But, as the above examples go some way in showing, even in the darkest of times, there are still reasons to remain positive.
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