Special Report

COVID-19 – Implications for the Global Consumer Landscape

  • Multi Asset
  • Consumer
  • Global

Third Bridge Forum continues to actively cover the progression and unfolding economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) since its onset in January 2020. As the uncertainty created by the spread of the virus endures, we continue to produce Interviews with key opinion leaders and industry experts that extract insights on the impacts of the virus across all sectors and regions. Third Bridge Forum has conducted approximately 450 Interviews on COVID-19 to date, with over one-third focused on the consumer universe. This report draws together key insights and conclusions from those Interviews across the discretionary and staple subsectors, highlighting various operational impacts, responses and potential recovery scenarios, and possible secular industry change.

The first section of this Sector Spotlight report – “COVID-19 Operational Impacts – Most Challenged Sectors & the (Few) Beneficiaries” – discusses the consumer sectors that have been most and least challenged by the coronavirus amid government containment measures. Our Interviews show the most heavily impacted are the leisure subsectors, which have limited auxiliary revenue streams to offset the loss of primary revenues due to enforced physical closure. Grocery retail has the benefit of absorbing spend deflected from the out-of-home channel and the rare ability to collect revenues offline and online. This section will also highlight shifting competitive dynamics in the sector where applicable. 

The report goes on to explore “Self Help & Damage Limitation”, in which we consider the key landlord-tenant discussion, labour flexibility and the likely postponement of CAPEX schedules as businesses look to preserve liquidity. We share various “Recovery Considerations” and themes that emerged across our Interviews, considering the likely restrictions businesses may have to comply with upon reopening and how consumer behaviour may respond, particularly with the likelihood of a global recession. Finally, we share “Potential Secular Industry Changes”, honing in on our experts’ views on the prospects of an acceleration in e-commerce migration, wider potential shifts in consumer behaviour and the scope for changes to the competitive landscape and supply chain structures.

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