Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and corresponding lockdowns in Ireland, industries such as retail, hospitality, and beauty and grooming were closed for much of the year. However, as is usually the case, when some industries are struggling, others are thriving. In this article we will take a look at some of the industries that have been successful despite the challenges that the pandemic brought on, and some that have not been so lucky.
Many supermarkets in Ireland benefited from stay at home orders, as most pubs and restaurants were closed, leading to an increase in at-home cooking for the average person. One of these supermarkets was British grocer Tesco- who reported an increase of £388 million in sales in Ireland last year, or more than £1 million per day. The grocer remained open during lockdown orders, and maximised sales across all lines of products, from alcohol and ready-made meals to clothing and household products.
The pandemic also saw large growth in the tech sector, as many industries transitioned to part or full-time online work. One such company that saw impressive growth was Dublin based fintech firm Fenergo, which develops software for financial institutions that helps them with issues such as regulatory compliance and managing client data. Fenergo saw revenue increases of 22 percent, to about €95 million by the end of March 2021. They also have officially been valued at over $1 billion since a deal in March.
Travel and tourism businesses were at the forefront of those hit hardest by the pandemic. Due to the grounding of many airlines and people remaining stuck at home for much of the past year, this sector had little opportunity for growth. Airbnb is one example of a business that had an especially rough year. Revenues for the rental company in Ireland fell by 49 percent in the nine months leading up to September 2020. Hotel group Dalata also saw a sharp decrease in revenues, reporting a loss of 68% on the year.
Because non-essential retail was shut down for most of the year, many of these businesses were among the worst affected. The pandemic was especially harmful to those with no or limited online shopping. Global commerce giant Penney’s was one of those that reported losses. While business was “phenomenal” during periods when lockdowns were eased and it was able to reopen its shops, the retail giant reported losses across the globe by about £1.5 billion during the Christmas period. The Irish Times estimates that Penney’s losses in Ireland in 2020 were approximately 27%.