Trends and pivots in the coronavirus economy

With Covid-19 dragging the economy down and people cooped up at home or sheltering in place, consumer behaviors and trends are changing.

Businesses have to find a way to pivot to meet these new demands and habits. The obvious ones are easy to spot like food delivery, entertainment (Netflix!), and productivity software that make working from home possible.

I’ve consolidated the rest in the list below. We hope this helps you stay more in tune with our changing world.

Online legal advice ⚖️

  • Lockdowns are forcing couples to spend an increasing amount of time together. Throw in money problems amid a slowing economy, and the chances for arguments increase. It’s happening in China and in the U.S, which may cause a surge in demand for online lawyers.
  • The pandemic has also pushed wealthy elderly folks to seek advice on how to write their will. Thankfully, that can be done online, too.

Gaming from home 🎮

Cooking at home 👩‍🍳

  • US-based Waffle House couldn’t offer its signature menu item in its restaurants. So the company made its waffle mix available online and it was sold out in four hours.
  • Shake Shack is offering DIY kits so you can enjoy its burgers from home.
  • Demand for flour is on the rise as people are looking to bake to kill boredom and at the same time fill their stomachs.
  • Baking and cooking are also healthy activities to do with kids and can also distract people away from their anxieties.
  • As a result, sales for cooking appliances are skyrocketing.

Mental wellness and recreation 🧘

  • The current situation is uncertain, and it’s detrimental to our mental health. CNN reported that a crisis hotline has seen an 891% spike in calls.
  • Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace are seeing a spike in downloads in the corona economy.
  • Alcohol and legal cannabis sales are higher as well.
  • Alcohol delivery app Drizly told Yahoo that it saw “sales explode in the last week of March, climbing 537% above the company’s expectations.”

Keeping kids entertained 🤡

  • Parents have to work from home… with their kids around. To stay focused, they have to keep their kids entertained. Providing toys is one of the solutions, and Hasbro is seeing a surge in sales.
  • Parents are also under pressure to act as teachers, scrambling to set up home-school schedules during the lockdown.

“With schools across the country closed and unlikely to reopen soon, families are gathering teaching materials, setting up schedules, and looking for ways to keep kids engaged beyond the limited hours of remote-learning school days,” writes learning specialist Katharine Hill in The New York Times.

There are several useful and free resources in that NYT piece to help you plan your kids’ schedule.

Online learning 🤓

“In highly competitive markets like India and Southeast Asia, parents are even more keen for their children to perform well in exams and find better employment opportunities,” says GV Ravishankar, a managing director at Sequoia Capital India.

Work-from-home fashion 👕

According to a report jointly produced by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company:

  • The personal luxury goods industry (luxury fashion, accessories, and watches as well as fine jewelry and high-end beauty), estimates a global revenue contraction of 35% to 39% in 2020 year-on-year.
  • If stores remain closed for two months, McKinsey analysis approximates that 80% of publicly listed fashion companies in Europe and North America will be in financial distress.
  • A large number of global fashion companies are expected to go bankrupt in the next 12 to 18 months.

The pain trickles down to the workforce. As demand drops, garment workers are also feeling the pinch. “If our workers don’t die from coronavirus, they’d die of starvation,” an industry executive pointed out.

Meanwhile, comfort wear and pajamas are in vogue as people stay indoors.

Other trends 🔥

Interesting pivots ✨

Similarly, Razer has also “pivoted” some of its manufacturing lines to produce surgical masks for Southeast Asia. That’s quite a feat, and I have a lot of respect for that. In fact, it spurred me to reach out to discuss their work further.

The company agreed, so now we have a virtual event: How Razer joined the X-Force.

Join us on April 22 and listen to Edwin Chan, Razer’s chief investment officer, and LiMeng Lee, who serves as chief strategy officer. We will talk about the company’s actions during Covid-19, its leadership during a time of crisis, and more.

Stay optimistic! 💪

You can find the previous commentary via this link: “The stress (and mindfuck) curve 📈”. You can also read all my commentaries here.

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