Industries Most Affected by Coronavirus (Top Performing and Hardest Hit)


Note: This post was originally published on the Vertical IQ blog. Edited and republished here with permission.

Vertical IQ is the leading provider of industry intelligence for those advising small- and medium-sized businesses, and their research team is working to provide updates on how COVID-19 affects industries, sectors, and economies. As the situation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, industries are experiencing the impacts in various ways.

We have gathered a list below of some of the top-performing and hardest-hit industries during this unprecedented time.

Top-Performing Industries

  • Beer, wine, and liquor stores

    • Beer category dollar sales in off-premise retailers exceeded $1 billion in four of the five weeks ending June 20, according to Nielsen. Approaching the July 4, 2020,  holiday, sales surged as states pulled back on allowing on-premise consumption in an effort to slow down the rapid rise of new cases of COVID-19, according to Brewbound.
    • Despite the reopening of bars and restaurants across the US, off-premise alcohol consumption continues to grow. Total alcohol sales rose 24.1% during the week ending June 2 and increased 26.3% during the COVID-19 time period versus a year ago, according to Nielsen. Beer sales increased 22.1%, wine sales rose 23.8%, and spirits sales grew 35.2% during the week of June 6 versus a year ago.
  • Internet, TV, and Mail-Order Retailers

    • Retail sales in nonstore retailers, which include internet and mail-order retailers, decreased 2.4% between May 2020 and June 2020 and rose 23.5% during June 2020 versus a year ago. The industry gained 7,600 jobs in June 2020, a 1.4% increase over May 2020.
    • The number of new online stores on Shopify globally rose 20% week over week for each of the last two weeks of March, according to Digital Commerce 360, reflecting an increase of retailers shifting business to the web when COVID-19 forced closures of storefronts.

  • Pet and Animal Food Manufacturers

    • Pet food makers spent 30% more on digital, TV, newspaper, and magazine advertising from February through April compared to the same period last year, according to PetfoodIndustry.com. The top advertisers in the pet food category were Mars Petcare, Nestle Purina PetCare, General Mills, The J.M. Smucker Co., and the Farmer’s Dog.
    • Online pet food sales have shown strong growth during the coronavirus pandemic. Pet food and supplies e-commerce firm Chewy reported net sales growth of 46.2% year-over-year during Q1. The company also added a record 1.6 million net active customers in the quarter.

Hardest-Hit Industries

  • Caterers
    • In a Pulse Survey of meeting planners conducted in late April/beginning of May, 20% more planners reported a decrease in their meeting budgets for the remainder of this year compared to an earlier survey during the first quarter of 2020; 56% predicted that they would operate 25% or less of their 2020 live events; and 69% planned to go virtual or incorporate virtual aspects. In the survey, about 13% stated that all 2020 programs had been canceled; 88% predicted that some portion of their 2020 events would be or were already postponed to 2021, as reported by Hotel Business.
  • Movie Theaters
    • AMC, the world’s largest movie theater chain, pushed back its midsummer reopening. AMC had planned to begin a multiphase reopening on July 15, with the goal of being fully operational by July 24. The company is currently planning to have many of its US theaters fully up and running by August 20. AMC said in early June that it has “substantial doubt” it can remain in business.
    • The state of Illinois allowed movie theaters to reopen in late June as part of Phase 4 reopening guidelines.
  • Performing Arts Group
    • Disney Theatrical Productions announced that "Frozen" would not return when Broadway reopens. The shutdown of "Frozen" reflects the depth of impact of COVID-19 and has amplified the industry’s concern about other productions with less financial backing. Neil Simon’s "Plaza Suite" and "MJ," the Michael Jackson biomusical, delayed start dates to March 2021, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
    • The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded 40% of the $75 million appropriated through the CARES Act directly to state and regional arts agencies to distribute through their funding programs during April. The remaining 60% is slated to go toward direct grants to nonprofit arts organizations.

Learn more about the Vertical IQ platform and stay informed on the latest news and updates involving coronavirus and the business valuation community by visiting our coronavirus resource page.

About the author: As CEO and co-founder of Vertical IQ, Bobby Martin focuses on financial advisory, financial planning, and retirement planning. Bobby is an angel investor and serves as an active board member with several innovative startups.


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