The Coronavirus crisis has been devastating for many businesses, with unemployment dropping by 1% between February 2020 and August 2020. That’s roughly 666,000 people becoming unemployed in the space of 6 months. Most hospitality, high-street and airline industries have been hit hardest this year, announcing thousands of job cuts since June.
Despite these industries taking a hard hit, others seem to be thriving, greatly benefiting from the dramatic change to people’s lifestyles. With lots of leisure centres closing, more people working from home and having to communicate with colleagues, friends and family online, the following industries are booming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Cleaning and Hygiene
Following government instructions to give homes a deep clean, the demand for both cleaners and cleaning products has rapidly increased in an attempt to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Over the twelve weeks leading up to the 17 May, sales of liquid disinfectant increased by 74.9%, surface care grew by 63.4% and liquid soap by 126.8%. Value sales were up by 32%, an increase of £8.4m.
According to the vice president of home-care brand, Unilever, shoppers are “turning to trusted brands that they know will provide the best results.” Between April and May, bleach brand, Domestos, saw a 28.2% increase in unit sales. Whilst the demand for home cleaners has decreased due to more people being at home to do the cleaning themselves as well as the lockdown restrictions, the demand for cleaners in supermarkets, restaurants, pubs, hospitals and schools has increased dramatically. As of 10 November 2020, there are currently 10,980 cleaning jobs being advertised on jobs site, Indeed.
2. E-Commerce Retail
Despite high-street stores being hit hard, e-commerce or online retail has seen a rapid increase in sales. This comes after people were stuck at home during lockdown and non-essential high-street stores were ordered to close, as well as the vulnerable in self-isolation ordering their grocery shopping online for home delivery. People started to change what, how and when they were buying.
Initially, there was a high demand for common household products such as toilet roll, hand sanitiser and even food such as pasta and consumers started to panic bulk buy. When supermarkets struggled to meet the demand for these products, consumers began to go online to find them.
As soon as people started to realise that they would be spending a lot of time at home with nothing to do, they looked online for entertainment. The Nintendo Switch gaming console doubled in sales in March compared with February, selling out in almost all online stores. Even board games such as Monopoly, Cluedo, Scrabble and Uno were selling out or low in stock online due to high order volumes.
3. Information Technology
Prior to the global pandemic, video conferencing tools were mostly used to communicate with overseas companies or clients, however, since workers started to work from home during lockdown, video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype became a popular way for employers to communicate with their employees and hold meetings from their living rooms.
In January 2020, before the coronavirus crisis, Zoom was being downloaded by 56,000 people daily. By March, the app was being downloaded by 2.13 million people each day. At the start of the year, Zoom’s market capitalisation was $19 billion and rapidly increased to $139 billion by September.
Not only are video conferencing apps thriving, but the need for IT technicians to help the people working from home to set up has also increased. Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said:
“The number of job opportunities in IT has rebounded very quickly. This is partly because of short term demand, but also as a result of a more general trend as technology plays a greater role in our lives.”
On 23 March, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, gave his first lockdown announcement where he set out strict rules, stating that people were only allowed to leave their homes for one of four reasons, one of those reasons being exercise. With gyms closed, more time on their hands and the excuse to go outside, many people took a new interest in fitness at home.
Between March and the end of June, over 858,000 people downloaded the NHS Couch to 5K app and Joe Wicks’ online and TV workouts proved to be popular. Research by price comparison site Idealo revealed that online orders for home fitness equipment soared by 5813% between March and July with sales of stair climbers increasing by 6,500%, weight benches up 4,130% and exercise bikes at 2,113%.
5. Streaming Services
With over 9.4 million people furloughed and a national lockdown, there wasn’t much to get up to. This meant lots of people relied on films and TV series to keep them entertained. According to Ofcom, viewing figures for video streaming services were up by 71% compared with the same time last year. During lockdown, 12 million customers signed up to new services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ and almost a half of these new customers said they would continue their subscriptions in the future, meaning this industry will likely continue to boom post covid.
If your business has suddenly seen an increase in sales or custom and requires help with financial management, get in touch with a member of our team at Ryans.