The Shift in Goods and Services Since Covid-19

The Pandemic has seen massive changes in who we are, what we do, and what we buy.

Think back to the winter in 2019. We were going to the pub for Christmas nights out, enjoying raves, going to the cinema, and cramming ourselves into crowded shopping malls. We weren’t scared to get on public transport. People happily went about their days without washing their hands. When you do think back, it’s a little worrying.

Nowadays, if you rock up to your favourite shop and there is a crowd, you are likely to think twice about going inside. Festivals are all but forgotten about, and nobody goes to nightclubs unless they are at a far reduced capacity. It is fair to say that our likes, dislikes, hobbies, and interests, have all changed.

Goods and services have shifted significantly. Let’s talk about how.

Covid Changed our Working World

The pandemic absolutely changed our working world. Any business with a bricks and mortar which was regularly busy before covid, took a sharp slump in sales. Either the local government shut down some businesses, or disruptions in the supply chain[i] meant that nobody had anything to sell. These supply chain disruptions are still happening in 2021, a whole year and a half after the outbreak. All these months on, businesses are still feeling the effects.

Besides the supply chain and the reduced capacity in buildings previously taking two or three times the custom, there was the shift in trends. People didn’t want to eat out anymore, according to Bloomberg, this led to some 110,000 pubs and restaurants in the US to close permanently. In the UK, this figure was a population-relative 10,000. It wasn’t just pubs either, it was the theatres, the retail establishments, the recreational centres. All closed, some forever.

It Wasn’t All Bad News

There are some sectors which experienced a huge boom, too. Technology, IT, web dev, takeaway food, and outdoor hobby supplies demand all grew. DIY supplies were needed, and the housing market exploded as the people who were trapped at home decided they needed a better one.

Those that were made redundant during Covid-19 due to closures, soon made their way into these newly expanded sectors. The shift was towards goods and services that let us keep in touch with our loved ones, work remotely, and carry on with life as it once was. Soon, Jobs for IT Managers had replaced jobs for head chefs. Instead of being desperate for a night out bowling, we were desperate for mountain bikes and home gym equipment.

Getting Back to Normal

While many industries suffered, some boomed. This was something everyone expected to eventually go back to normal. However, since the worst of the pandemic is seemingly over, the supply chain disruptions continue. The demand for nightclubs at high capacity has not returned, the need for multiple public transport options is still limited.

How long until we are experiencing the same growth as pre pandemic levels? According to the World Bank, we will finish 2021 and still not have caught up with the growth we had before. They describe growth as “strong but uneven” and predict 5.6% global growth overall.