It’s International Youth Day on the same day that official figures have confirmed the UK has entered a recession for the first time in 11 years. In these unstable times we take a look at opportunities for both the young and the intrepid businesses and entrepreneurs amongst us. Read on for our thoughts on recession resistant industries and business opportunities.
The UK economy suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June this year, as coronavirus lockdown measures pushed the country officially into recession. The economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.
Whilst the Bank of England says the UK economic slump will be less severe than expected, it anticipates recovery will take longer. The economy is now expected to shrink 9.5% this year, compared with an earlier estimate of 14%.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts huge falls in GDP for 2020 as a whole, a fall of 8.0% for the US and 10.2% for the UK. It estimates the entire world economy will shrink by 4.9% this year, so we’re all in this together.
The discovery of a COVID vaccine would help create a strong recovery, but until then we need to start rebuilding our lives.
So what next?
There are a few products and industries that are historically recession resistant. It is also well known that recessions can lead to economic opportunities – 51% of Fortune 500 companies launched during a recession.
Recession proof industries
Historically, the beauty industry has been lauded as a recession-proof sector, given that shoppers can still afford cosmetics even when they can’t afford more lavish purchases like cars or homes. Even during The Great Depression, the sale of lipstick increased.
Beauty products — which include everything from skin creams to hair products — have seen a big spike since mid-March.
With Salons, barbershops, and other spa-like businesses forced to close, people are cutting and dying their hair and maintaining their own skincare routine, bringing the spa into the comfort of their homes.
Employees who can work from home are more and more often engaged in video conferences – Zoom and Slack are worth nearly $50 billion more since coronavirus hit! Together with more and more celebrity content filmed from home environments, it’s no wonder that beauty products are still in high demand for men and women wanting to feel good and be presentable at work (virtually).
This industry has nailed its ecommerce operations and is booming online https://tps-global.com/e-commerce-has-enabled-thousands-of-small-businesses-to-keep-the-uk-going-during-lockdown/
Another area of growth is nutrition products, meal replacements, and protein powders. Although supermarkets and grocery stores are still open, people are looking for a cheap, quick and easy way to stay stocked up on food and other essentials.
Nutrition products like meal replacements and protein powders can offer a healthy alternative and come with a longer shelf life than fresh produce. They also help consumers manage and maintain their diet plans.
Sports and fitness
Due to social distancing guidelines gyms were forced to close across the country, so unsurprisingly fitness product sales benefited from the stay-at-home orders, and sales are up 112.23% month on month. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, many people are trying to do at-home workouts to stay active during these times.
Sales of alcohol, tobacco, CBD and vaping products remain steady, consumer buying habits might change in favour of cheaper products, but these industries are likely to hold up relatively better than other mainstream industries such as airlines, restaurants, entertainment, and other leisure sectors.
Home and cleaning essentials
We all remember the toilet paper saga in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cleanliness and health will always be important. From toothpaste to laundry detergent and now hand sanitisers, these types of consumer goods are used every day, and many people rely on them without even thinking about them. The pandemic has also forced many people to rethink their home cleaning routine, which means some cleaning supplies may continue to see an upward trend in sales for the long haul.
We are seeing reports that toys and games shipments are up 66.51% month on month. The video game industry is also seeing record numbers, especially with students and teenagers being stuck at home. Even traditional board games and puzzles are experiencing an increase in sales as they provide a great, inexpensive way to entertain kids and families.
Pet care essentials
With more people staying and working from home, more families and individuals are adopting pets for comfort while being stuck at home. Since March 2020, pet food brands have seen a sudden surge in sales.
Pet products might continue to see a steady rate in sales. More pet owners means more people need access to pet food and supplies.
Food and beverages
Supermarkets and grocery stores have seen an enormous surge in sales since the pandemic began with food items being the most popular products purchased. It’s safe to say that even during a recession, people will continue to eat and drink.
Inexpensive, sweet treats provide a necessary break from all of the bad news. It was during the Great Depression in the 1930’s, treats like Snickers and Mars Bars were invented.
Sweet and salty comfort foods were also a go-to during the early weeks of the Covid-19 crisis. In mid-March 2020, retailers reported chocolate sales were up 21.1 percent over the same period in 2019 and ice cream sales jumped 34.5 percent.
Due to advances in ecommerce shipping and logistics, it’s easier than ever for customers to order food and drink products online that won’t spoil or get damaged during transit. Ecommerce brands that offer food and beverage items can store food products in a temperature-controlled warehouse to keep items safe before shipping to customers.
Nappy sales are experiencing 154% growth during the pandemic, according to researchandmarkets.com and with a baby boom expected as a result of lockdown, people will still need to take care of their little ones. The bulk-buying of baby food, formula, and other baby-related products has eased, but demand will always continue for this sector.
Some products are deemed essential and meet our basic physiological needs, products like toilet paper, food, and cleaning supplies are going to be in constant demand, even if the price increases.
But products that tap into our psychological needs — the items that comfort us, entertain us, or simply make us feel good may surprise you in terms of demand. That’s because the stress and tough times associated with a recession causes many people to seek temporary escapes.
If the product isn’t a necessity but provides a small amount of cheap escapism, such as a bar of chocolate, a puzzle, or a movie on Netflix, it becomes worth it for people going through the recession.
The effects of a recession will impact business and consumer behaviour across all industries to some degree. The COVID-19 pandemic marks a defining moment for the ecommerce industry. Although it’s forced many consumers to turn to online channels, many of them will continue to shop online knowing how easy it is to get the products they need delivered safely to their door.
If you’re seeing an increase in online order demand, we can help. We help businesses with their supply chain logistics and operate a growing fulfilment network from our UK base in Kent. Using the latest Warehouse Management Software our fulfilment centres allow you to streamline your entire fulfilment strategy from one dashboard.
Please contact us on +44 (0) 1622 237979 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss any aspect of your Ecommerce supply chain operation.
With graduates and school leavers finding it harder to get a first job, now is the time for enterprise. Almost 200,000 companies launched since the country went into lockdown back in March. There are opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Among the companies starting up during this period were more than 8,000 construction companies, while 2,646 hairdressing and beauty companies were incorporated as clever entrepreneurs sought to take advantage of Britons eager for their first haircut after three months without access to a hairdresser.
As the nation found itself without any restaurants and cafes to go to, the takeaway sector boomed, with 3,448 take away food shops and mobile food stands incorporated.
Technology has proven to be a significant enabler in helping entrepreneurs to continue innovating.
So as we try and adjust to this new normal, it’s important that all businesses – new and established – work on their plans for futureproofing, upskilling their staff when it comes to technology and ensuring they’re not left behind in this new digital era.
On International Youth Day we would like to celebrate our TPS young talent, our award winning apprenticeship scheme has been now been running for over 12 years, Air Freight Director Katie Mills was our first apprentice. Today seven of our full time employees have completed apprenticeships with us.
Learning works both ways and as a business we all benefit from their input. #teamwork