COVID-19 Winners and Losers: My Thoughts

Image by Enrico Lapponi on BigStock Photo

I have been thinking about what kind of businesses and professions might come out of COVID-19 as winners and losers. Here are some thoughts. More than a few that are on the May list were either clear to everyone or to me in April, but since I didn’t finish the list then, I’m leaving it as is.

As I have been doing this, I have found a lot more “winners” overall than “losers”, but the “losers” include some giant industries, like airlines, while many of the “winners” are niche, like yeast manufacturers and bike companies.

July 22, 2020

Winners

  • Zoom
  • Manufacturers of laptops and peripherals, including items like surge protectors and bags
  • Board and card game manufacturers
  • Fabric manufacturers
  • Sanitizing and UV products

Losers

  • Skype
  • Professional dog walkers
  • Anyone who needs a public meeting space
  • Youth and volunteer groups who can’t find meeting spaces
  • The entire oil industry
  • The automotive industry, including mechanics, oil change businesses, etc.
  • Yearbook companies – it’s hard to see a lot of yearbooks coming out from schools that are entirely on-line

General Changes

  • Apparently, people are drinking a lot of canned soda, leading to a shortage of aluminum cans. Presumably they are drinking less fountain soda since restaurant business has gone down. One can only hope that this leads to a return of glass bottles, and reuse of same by soda companies – as in yesteryear.
  • Schools are virtual, at least in part, for the foreseeable future. They will probably retain a much higher degree of virtual learning. Hopefully they will also have less standardized testing, as has been the case over the last six months or so.
  • Cats remain annoyed at having humans around all the time, while dogs remain ecstatic about it.

July 1, 2020

Winners

  • Dogs, who are happy to have their humans home
  • Homeschooling
  • Community colleges
  • Seed and gardening companies
  • Car insurance companies (no driving = no accidents)
  • Pool manufacturers and builders

Losers

  • Cats, who just want their humans to go away and leave them alone
  • Lower-tier private residential colleges
  • Airlines
  • Fast Fashion

General Changes

  • Eye make-up and glasses/contacts are more important while lipstick and blush have just disappeared, literally and figuratively, in importance.
  • I don’t see “fast fashion” having a come-back soon as people don’t need to stay “up  to the minute” when they aren’t leaving their homes.
  • This is the moment when athleisure wear can truly shine. If it can’t make giant strides in the market now, it never will.

June 18, 2020

Winners

  • Bicycle manufacturers and sellers, including parts and helmets
  • Companies with at-home exercise apps
  • Drive-in movie theaters
  • Athleisurewear brands

Losers

  • Suit companies such as Men’s Wearhouse
  • Gyms
  • Movie theaters – especially 80s/90s era ones; new ones have giant comfy seats, and older/retro ones are more spacious overall

June 5, 2020

Winners

  • Mascara and eye make-up
  • Vitamin companies, especially Vitamins C and D
  • Makers of small home medical devices, especially pulse oximeters and devices for conditions like asthma that have traditionally relied more on doctors checking them (diabetics already tend to have equipment on hand)
  • Blue tooth of all sorts, but especially headphones
  • Noise-blocking headphones
  • Smaller, “artisanal” flour companies such as King Arthur and White Lilly
  • Cookbook writers, bloggers, and imprints
  • Mask makers
  • Family organization apps and calendars
  • Boutique (small) hotels

Losers

  • Lipstick and (to a lesser extent) blush
  • Commercial buildings – it really can’t be said enough: they are going to lose BIG
  • Cities, especially those with extremely expensive real estate
  • Hotels that rely on buffets to draw people in

May 17, 2020

Winners

  • JoAnn and other fabric companies
  • Brother, Singer, and other sewing machine companies
  • Craft stores in general
  • Yeast and flour manufacturers
  • Kitchen gadget makers
  • Cookbook writers and manufacturers
  • Carryout container manufacturers
  • Drive-in theaters
  • Online educators
  • Grocery stores
  • Charmin
  • Liquor stores

Losers

  • Restaurants, esp. buffet-style
  • Movie theaters
  • Suit makers
  • Retail, especially focused on clothing, even more so on business attire
  • Airlines and hotels
  • Car rental companies
  • Car Manufacturers

Jobs with more positions available:

  • Gathering items to fill grocery and other online orders for pick-up
  • Delivery
  • Tutoring

April 5, 2020

Winners:

  • Zoom and other online conference apps
  • Garage paper towel companies
  • Home delivery services
  • Educational apps and websites
  • Teleservices

Losers

  • Office building owners and managers
  • Dry cleaners

General Changes

  • More tele-doc visits
  • More tele-work 

One thought on “COVID-19 Winners and Losers: My Thoughts”

  1. I never thought about yearbooks, but you are so right. Spent nearly $100 on them for my kiddos last year and half the yearbook was pics from the 2018-2019 year. Won’t be spending that next year. I wonder how many businesses will be negatively affected by lack of back to school shopping. As for winners, I believe liquor sales are way up as well. Great list!

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