Q&A Thursday Episode 3
Q&A Thursday Episode 3
Welcome back to another Q&A Thursday episode 3 with Jacob and Orlagh. This week we’re going to be talking about how lockdown has affected businesses large and small. Mustang has also interviewed a selection of local business owners to find out about their lockdown experience.
Lockdown has affected people and businesses in many different ways. Some companies will never recover, and others will have long term financial problems. The business world has seen a considerable change which is consequently going to affect the UK’s economy, as well as other countries. Lockdown has created challenges for companies both big and small which may have long-lasting effects.
Which industries were impacted by the lockdown?
The lockdown of the UK and social distancing guidelines have led to businesses in the food industry losing income and relying on government loans. The food industry struggled before lockdown began. Two weeks before lockdown, footfall in restaurants fell by 10%, two weeks later the figure had increased to 69%. The loss of income for businesses has resulted in closures and others struggling to stay open. The financial pressure caused by the lockdown will prevent some in the food industry, returning to what was ‘normal’.
Although most restaurants and bars can open on the 4th of July, footfall will be low due to distancing guidelines. Limited numbers of customers in a venue and fear of the virus will prevent customers from dining.
During the lockdown, food services had the decision to close or provide a delivery service for customers. A study found that during the lockdown, 10% of consumers expected to spend more on takeaway than they would previously. The demand for takeaway services has increased. Consequently, businesses such as local pubs and other small restaurants have found success with delivery services during the lockdown.
What does the future hold for the food industry?
The takeaway industry is on course to grow with customers opting for eating meals in their homes. This growth will cause many restaurants to adopt takeaway services to meet customer demands.
The demand for high-quality cleaning standards will increase. As customers pay close attention to their hygiene, they will benign to expect services to meet a similar standard.
What impact has the lockdown had on the travel industry?
The travel industry has experienced a considerable impact from lockdown and nearly came to a standstill. America’s travel experienced one of the hardest hits and had a loss of 4.6 million jobs in May.
Johan Lundgren, the chief executive of EasyJet, said this is the most significant crisis aviation has ever gone through. Most of the employees are on furlough, but he said that it is vital to keep in touch with staff. Johan holds daily remote conferences with his team while communicating with the whole company over Workplace. EasyJet is in constant communication with the European safety regulators regarding measures needed for flights to restart.
Unfortunately, not all airlines have been as lucky, as Flybe went into administration. They had over 2000 employees and operated 40% of UK domestic flights, therefore having a significant impact on UK travel.
Has COVID benefitted any industries?
Information and communications have had an increase in businesses over the past three months. Since lockdown began, companies have turned to online communication software such as zoom to communicate with employees, clients and customers. Zoom has experienced substantial success during the lockdown period. The video communications platform had 659,000 active users in January, rising to 13 million by the end of April. Zoom has experienced the most significant increase with a 2000% growth. Not only has zoom build as a brand during the lockdown, but the service has also assisted thousands of businesses.
What is the impact that lockdown has had on online sales?
In April, online sales increased by 109.6%, and in May, they grew to 129.5% compared to last year. This increase in online sales has meant many businesses have started working online. Increased demand for website development and also opened doors for digital marketing.
Has the lockdown impacted local businesses?
The Mustang team conducted interviews to determine how local businesses have been affected by the UK lockdown. We interviewed local business owners that operate in many different industries. We asked them to tell us their account of how lockdown has affected them.
If you enjoyed Q&A Thursday Episode 3. Don’t Forget to Tune in every week for Q&A Thursday with Jacob and Orlagh.