The COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed many businesses and caused great harm to others.
We looked into which industries were suffering the most, which were likely to struggle over the long term, and which were unlikely to come back. Here are the sectors and business types that experts seem to believe will have a difficult time recovering from the economic impact they endured due to the lockdown.
If you work in any of these industries and have been furloughed or laid off, you might want to consider looking into other job options or a side hustle, in case the recovery period is long, bumpy, or neverending.
Movie theatres. The demise of movie theatres should not come as a shock to anyone. Theatres were already struggling before the pandemic, thanks to competition from streaming services, and COVID could very well be the nail in the coffin of cinema.
Travel. The travel industry has been brought to a standstill, probably temporarily but it will take at least a couple of years to come back and, when it does, it will look very different. Road trips and local travel will prevail for some time, and airlines will struggle. Tour operators will also find themselves working at lower capacity.
Hospitality. The consensus seems to be that hospitality will get through this in one form or another. Hotels will have a hard time, and while some will survive, others will not. Hilton CEO, Christopher Nassetta, told Adweek that it will take three years for the industry to return to pre-COVID levels and that he does not expect all of the brand’s hotels to pull through.
Restaurants. An April survey by Restaurants Canada found that 75% of respondents were either very or extremely concerned about their debt levels. The survey also found that one out of every two independent restaurants did not expect to survive if conditions don’t improve by July. Restaurants have been extremely hard hit and, if they ever make it back to where they were before, it will take a long time. Another survey found that half of Canadians plan to avoid restaurants in the near future.
Bars. MLive ranked 36 activities and the risk level they created for contracting COVID-19, based on the input of four medical experts, and bars ranked number one. There will always be people who don’t care and who will frequent bars anyway, but it could be a while before people are willing to pack them again.
Traditional retail. Online shopping was already catching on to a huge degree, and the pandemic has introduced even reluctant online shoppers to the joys and convenience of having items delivered to your door. Bloomberg reported that “The brick-and-mortar side of the industry was already under severe pressure before the crisis, and many analysts often spoke of a ‘retail apocalypse.’ The pandemic will accelerate this trend.”
Event planning. Conferences and large events will struggle in the coming months and years. As they move to an online format, ticket sales will obviously have to drop, while revenue generators that require in-person interaction will be unavailable, like booth rentals. The same goes for concerts and big festivals – any place where many people would be expected to gather. The events industry will have to pivot and may have a long road to travel back.
The world of work will look different in the next while. We don’t know what will happen but those working in these sectors who have lost their jobs might want to consider looking elsewhere, since new jobs may be somewhat scarce.