Coronavirus: who wins and who loses in the business world
Who comes out on top after the global pandemic clears?
Although it is far too early to say what life will be like once the global pandemic that is Coronavirus abates, as we adjust to our new normal, it has become hugely apparent that our lives, our behaviour and our spending habits have quickly changed. So once the dust settles and life begins to carry on again, how will the global economy have changed and which industries will come out on top?
Already a hugely growing market, ecommerce had grown from a spend of US$2.93trillion in 2018 to US$3.46trillion in 2020 but 2020 looks to surpass any expectations about growth. One of the industries that has serendipitously benefitted from the global lock-downs, online shopping has become the only way for retail to continue in this current situation. But it’s not all e-commerce that is powering through as current estimations are that apparel growth for the first quarter of the year has slowed to nearly zero percent vs 30% the previous quarter.
With the world still struggling to come to terms with the pandemic and what it means for our economy, people have seemingly shifted their spending priorities to necessities. Speaking of the current retail situation, Mike Shapaker, Chief Marketing Officer at ChannelAdvisor said: “As consumers grapple with the pandemic and a stalling economy, their spending priorities are shifting amid the uncertainty. Right now, everybody’s focused on getting enough food, toilet paper and whatever you need to live.”
Over at online retail giant, Amazon, they have added 100,000 new jobs to keep up with the demand and delivery centres across the world are attempting to add to their staff to keep up with demand.
Logistics and Delivery
Going hand in hand with the rise in e-commerce demand comes the certain growth in the logistics and delivery space. With people confined to their homes, delivery companies have been working with the current situation to circumvent government rules including social distancing by creating new initiatives to dropping off essentials. Food delivery service Deliveroo has launched a no-contact drop off service which enables riders to leave food on customers’ doorsteps, Amazon Prime have suspended all signing for documents. Alibaba have also seen a huge spike in demand with their delivery arm, Cainiao launching the Green Channel initiative in January in response to the increase in protective clothing and medical supplies.
Not surprisingly, there has been a huge surge in the use of video conferencing of late with recent start-up, Zoom, being one of the front runners noting an increase in share price and sales of 50% already this year. Skype and Webex have also reported a surge in demand and profits so far.
Streaming and Gaming
While Netflix and chill used to mean something entirely different, these days the main way to relax is in front of Netflix. While our social lives take a huge nose dive, platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have reported huge rises in subscriptions. Alongside that, online gaming platform subscriptions are also on the rise.
Staying fit, both mentally and physically, has never been more important and while we can’t get to the gym in person, fitness apps such as SWEAT are noticing a large increase in subscriptions with some apps also creating Facebook groups to keep the community motivated in real time.
Transport, especially Airlines
It’s going to be a grim couple of years for transport, with the global airline industry reporting that they will need around US$20 Billion in emergency support. Airlines around the world have parked up to 85% of their fleets and asked staff to take unpaid leave of up to three months. And it’s not just airlines, it’s trains, cruises, any form of mass transportation. It’s a grim reality for an industry once considered so secure.
With no way of knowing when this pandemic will be over, tourism hasn’t just stalled, it’s stopped. The ski season was pretty much lost globally as the virus swept through Europe and Summer holiday plans are still very much up in the air. In fact, reports for the tourism industry are so grim that the US Travel Association projects five million travel-related jobs will be lost.
Oil and Gas
Another industry that was once seen as untouchable, with dwindling demand for oil and gas, it is now an industry in decline. To give you an example, on January 1st, before the virus swept through the US, a barrel of crude oil sold for US$67.05 on the NASDAQ exchange before falling to around US$26 in early April.
Yet another industry once deemed untouchable, the professional sports industry has been massively hit. With Europe cancelling all sporting events for the foreseeable future and the US postponing the likes of the North America’s Major League Soccer championship, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, revenue in ticket sales and pay per view has ceased, putting a huge dent in the industry.
It’s simple: in times of global crisis, people stay home and keep their money safe, which means that deals across the world will stall and investment banking will be hugely hit. To put this into perspective, shares of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have reported a decrease in shares of more than 30% since the start of the year meaning an inevitable loss in jobs.
The peak times for blockbusters are Summer and Christmas and with cinemas closed down for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t look like there will be any box office hits anytime soon. Analysts have also predicted that the global cinema industry will lose US$5 Billion over the year.
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