Coronavirus has been a pox on most businesses, sending venerable names like J.C. Penney, Nieman Marcus, J.Crew and Lord & Taylor into bankruptcy. The damage to the economy is far from contained. As of this writing, the Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the U.S. GDP won’t be back to early 2020 levels until mid-2022 or so.
Meanwhile, it appears that Coronavirus may have long-term impacts toward our shopping habits. EMarketer now predicts that online sales will make up 14.5 percent of retail sales in 2020, compared with 11 percent last year. Ecommerce growth will jump to 18 percent this year, EMarketer predicts.
Taken together, Coronavirus has merely accelerated trends that were occurring. A bigger portion of the population was moving toward online shopping anyway. Coronavirus merely accelerated that move.
Likewise, those mall anchor stores are merely docking ahead of schedule.
But the pandemic’s effects haven’t been universal. Some consumers may have temporarily been exposed to an alternative and liked it so much that they will never go back. For others, this episode has merely confirmed their previous choices.
Nevertheless, here are 10 brands that profited from the Coronavirus episode, at least so far.
- Amazon. Amazon seems well-suited for a pandemic. As going to the supermarket became a health risk, for many, Amazon became a viable alternative. Though it stumbled early on (March and April), Amazon recovered and its stock price has surged, gaining 60 percent since early March.
- Zoom. As Coronavirus became a daily reality for many, people went searching for videoconferencing software that was free and worked well enough. Zoom fit the bill for many. Daily users for the platform rose from 10 million in December to 200 million in March.
- Domino’s. Going out to eat became impossible for many. That was good news for chains like Domino’s, which announced recently that it was seeking to hire 20,000 more employees. Papa John’s also fared well in the crisis.
- Peloton. You may have laughed at the $2,000-plus price tag for Peloton’s exercise machines, but after months of lockdown, Peloton is looking downright attractive. That’s why at the beginning of the year, Peloton’s subscribers nearly doubled. In contrast, many gyms remain closed as of mid-August.