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Who are the Post-Covid Winners and Losers?

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Winners and losers post-covid

The brutal truth of Covid-19 and its impact on the economy is that not all businesses are equal.

Some sectors and industries will have weathered the storm or even thrived in it. Others have not been so fortunate.

Here we look at the post-Covid winners and losers.


The most obvious beneficiaries of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have been those businesses that trade online.

There was an ecommerce growth explosion during lockdown. Before 2020, the rate of online retail growth had been slowing for 10 years. The pandemic marked a dramatic shift, with a 37% increase that was six times that of 2019.

This is the result of behavioural change towards online channels. This has led to an acceleration in growth, and a shift in customer expectations.

This leads to another winner, the warehousing industry.

The huge growth in online ordering has put much more demand on the fulfilment of orders. Warehousing has expanded to meet this demand.

However, throughout the supply chain, the picture is more mixed. On the one hand, there's been an expansion of services, but on the other, firms have felt the pressure of staff shortages.

The weaknesses in the supply chain have become more exposed since the end of lockdown. The fuel shortage is the latest example.

Other winners are companies and brands connected to digital products and services. Zoom was a clear beneficiary in the growth of video conferencing, as were manufacturers of video games and home entertainment providers.


Basically, any industry dealing directly with people in the physical world had a tough time during the pandemic.

Airlines caught the full brunt of the impact due to international travel restrictions. Companies running cruise ships and trains also suffered.

Lockdown restrictions had a severe impact on the travel and tourism industry in general.

Likewise, the hospitality industry faced huge challenges. The sector lost over £80 billion in sales in 12 months.

Traditional, on-street retailers were forced to close during the strictest lockdown measures. This is a part of the economy that has been in decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

However, vacancy rates, at 12.5% are roughly the same as in 2013, suggesting a certain degree of resilience here.

At the time, another loser in the Covid stakes was the oil and gas industry, with global oil demand down.

The Changing Picture

The impact of the pandemic continues to be felt. It's been a contributing factor to supply chain shortages and the current fuel crisis.

But the IMF has predicted that the UK economy will bounce back. The question for SMEs is how to best prepare and position themselves to ensure they don’t get left behind.

For many enterprises, surviving the pandemic has meant adapting to new ways of working and offering services.

Some of these changes may alter the working landscape permanently, such as the switch to working from home for at least some of the time.

SMEs will need to consider what they will need to invest in to secure their future in this changing economy. And they will need to think about how to secure this funding.

Flexible ways of working and responding to the market require flexible funding solutions.

There is a range of alternative routes to securing funding, including asset finance and debt funding. For more details, please call us on 0161 724 2424, email or complete our contact form.

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