Which Industries are Winning During Isolation

May 4th, 2020
Before we talk about the success stories, it's important to put things in perspective. Global markets have fallen sharply, with the FTSE, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nikkei all seeing huge falls over the last few months. The US Senate passed a record-breaking USD$2 trillion aid bill to help people survive, with most other nations passing their own relief packages. The global tourism industry was decimated overnight, the arts and events management sectors are pretty much non-existent, and the entire hospitality sector is a shadow of its former self.

Despite the major economic downturn and immense recovery ahead, not everyone has been suffering during this difficult time. As you might expect, some healthcare companies are thriving, with pharmaceutical companies set to play a huge role in the crisis recovery. Some major players include Gilead, who own the rights to the treatment drug Remdesivir; Moderna, who are actively working on a vaccine; and Roche, a major supplier of testing kits. Medical supply companies are also doing well, as are other manufacturing companies who have been brought in to meet demand.

With everyone staying at home and most physical shops either closed or extremely quiet, the logistics and delivery industry has been picking up the slack. From huge interstate trucks to food delivery bikes, the streets are full of delivery vehicles. No-contact delivery services have become the new normal, with more than 80% of all food orders from China during the COVID-19 peak requesting contactless delivery. While far from thriving, delivery services have even helped some cafes and restaurants to stay in business during this tough time.

The online world has also enjoyed a huge boost in traffic over the last few months, from streaming services to remote working apps and video conferencing tools. People have more time on their hands, which means more time for TV, more time for Instagram, and more time for gaming. Platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime video, and Disney+ have all reported increased viewers and healthy sales. The mobile gaming industry has also exploded, with streaming platforms for competitive games like "League of Legends" seeing more traffic than ever before.

With the opportunity for physical connection greatly reduced, people have been searching for new ways to meet and talk with friends and family. Working from home is common, and online education and learning tools are seeing a sharp rise in the number of users. Videoconferencing start-up Zoom has seen both sales and share prices increase by 50% in 2020, with Webex from Cisco, and both Skype and Teams from Microsoft also seeing a massive jump in new users. As we emerge from the COVID-19 peak, hopefully to a brighter tomorrow, some of these industry sectors may have cemented a new place in the modern economy.