Comeback Kids

July 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has confronted businesses across the globe with a host of challenges, leaving many to fear for their very existence. But companies in a handful of sectors actually saw their fortunes reverse due to disruption resulting from the crisis.

For example, many Germans had been skeptical of meal kits with pre-measured ingredients allowing the culinarily challenged to whip up home-cooked menus. But restrictions on restaurants kicking in, leading provider Hello Fresh from Berlin says it has added around a million new customers in Q1 2020 and expects to increase turnover 40 to 55 percent for the year. Competitor Marley Spoon is touting similar gains, as are other food delivery services.

Another trend is renewed interest in home improvement. Online furniture retailer Home24, also of Berlin, is reporting a roughly 88 percent increase in demand for April 2020 after undergoing a course of austerity in previous months. Interior decorating service Westwing from Munich also says it’s increased turnover 80 percent because of the crisis.

Software solutions enabling employees have experiences a boom, as have various medical and health products in demand because of the coronavirus. Lübeck medtech and security tech firm Dräger, for instance, was reducing personnel as recently as 2019. In 2020, it doubled production of ventilators, according to northern German state broadcaster NDR, and has had inquiries and orders flooding in from around the world.

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