“I don’t do anything these days” is something you likely hear a lot of people say during this pandemic. And many parts of the economy have taken a hit because of it. Restaurants have suffered tremendously, with even some of the mega-chains failing to make it through this crisis. About 20% of all TGI Friday’s locations have permanently closed. Every single Souplantation is gone. Even some of the chains that seem to dot every corner of our country like Starbucks and Denny’s are losing locations because of this virus. Movie theater chain AMC fears it won’t make it through this pandemic. The cruise ship industry has been hit hard, with the CDC giving its second No Sail Order of this pandemic on July 16, making it nearly impossible for cruise ships subject to US jurisdiction to make money.
The carnage is obvious. You see the “Closed” signs everywhere. But, Americans aren’t not spending at all. They’re just spending differently. The world has changed, for now, and, so too have the needs and wants of consumers. While some industries are flailing, some are seeing the most business they ever have. Here are industries that are booming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industrial real estate
It’s no surprise that the e-commerce world is booming, with shoppers less and less comfortable going to brick-and-mortar locations to pick out anything from accent pillows to purses to kitchenware. But what may be surprising is that, as a result of that, the industrial real estate industry is growing as there is a higher demand for warehouses for all the online shopping goods. Experts say things were already headed in that direction, but the pandemic accelerated the trend.
Online home goods retailer Wayfair reported a significant increase in business during this pandemic. People are home so much now, so those small areas of the home that weren’t perfect are staring them in the face, all day, every day. As a result, they’re finally getting those potted plants, accent pillows, wall art, and the like.
Meal kit delivery
The pandemic has been a time when many have finally pursued health goals more aggressively. Good health starts with a good diet and, as such, there has been a surge in meal kit delivery services that will bring ready-made, nutritious meals to your door every day or every week.
Home and garden
With everyone stuck at home, people are finally dedicating time to those DIY projects, particularly those pertaining to the yard, deck, garden, and other outdoor spaces. People want to be outdoors, but can’t do that in many public settings, so they’re working hard to make their private outdoor areas better. As such, the home and garden sector is seeing a surge in sales.
Home fitness equipment
Again, many are finally focusing on those neglected fitness goals. While others just want to stay on the good track they were already on before the pandemic. Though a yoga mat and a set of small weights might do the trick for some, many are investing in professional-quality home gym equipment, so their workouts don’t suffer during this quarantine.
Self-care is quite popular right now. In response to the emotional stress of this time, many are putting in a little extra effort with pampering themselves. There’s also the reality that, many want to make sure they still look just as young and vibrant as they did entering this pandemic when they exit it. As a result, skincare is on the rise.
Though drinking one’s way through this pandemic may not be the healthiest idea, people are doing it. Going out to bars for a favorite cocktail isn’t really an option, so many are upping their game on their home bars, and making sure their kitchens are stocked with their favorite boozy beverages. While not everyone is comfortable going to the physical store for a bottle of wine, they can always turn to online alcohol delivery. And they are.
One man who works in food delivery described that the business is so busy, he can work far fewer hours than he did pre-pandemic, and make as much if not more money. There are just more orders coming in, so there is very little waiting around for more business. Plus, people are tipping well right now, perhaps because they aren’t spending as much as they would at dine-in restaurants.
Augmented reality software
The retailers who are surviving this pandemic must adapt, and for many, that means turning to augmented reality (or virtual reality) software. Furniture companies are creating apps that allow customers to see how a chair might look in their personal living room. Realtors are offering clients apps that allow for 3D tours of homes. And of course, bored individuals at home are buying VR equipment for entertainment purposes.
One story noted that wealthy individuals are nearly wiping the freezer and cooling industry out, buying large freezers for their second homes, to which they’re escaping during the pandemic. But even those living in their primary homes right now are giving the freezer industry a lot of activity. One store in Denver is reporting four or five times the sales of this product since the pandemic began.