The global recession that began in 2007 has seen a lot of people and businesses fall on very hard times. Behemoths of commerce, companies that seemed unassailable in their profitability in happier times have found themselves filing for bankruptcy and many individuals have seen their personal wealth diminish substantially.
But, as with any situation, there are winners and losers in this most recent bout of economic depression. Indeed, in downturns of the past, some of the world’s biggest and best known corporations were founded in more impoverished times, including Burger King, Microsoft and HP, to name just a few.
So who are the winners in this recession? Which industries have found their feet in a climate so forbidding to the rest? Read on and find out.
With a surge in unemployment and rising living expenses, many people are finding themselves living from pay check to pay check. As a result, there’s a huge amount of demand now for these very short term loans (albeit with sky-high interest rates) intended to get you through a couple of days until borrowers can get back on their feet. Over the past three years, the number of requests for loans in the UK increased by one million, bringing the industry to a total of worth over £2 billion.
Price-point retailers are those stores that sell a wide variety of items at especially low prices that are uniform across the store (i.e. pound or dollar stores). Outlets of this kind hav been growing steadily since the beginning of the economic downturn, with consumers cutting costs on every-day essentials like cleaning products so as to free up disposable income elsewhere.
Reporting growth of between 2- 2.5% a year and with 150,000 jobs being advertised per quarter, this sector is booming. As large organisations find themselves having to cut back on their traditional marketing spend (TV and print advertising) they have been spending money on promotion via SEO and social media to pull in customers rather than push their products and services out to them, hence the growth in website development. Online commerce tends to do relatively well in times of austerity when consumers go seeking out the cheapest deals rather than visiting brick-and-mortar outlets, and that means that having a strong online presence is essential.
With many companies downsizing and restructuring, management consultants are needed to help ensure that these processes go ahead as smoothly without compromising on corporate performance. UK consultancies are finding lucrative markets overseas worth £914 million. The biggest growth area is environmental consultancy, which is up 31 per cent to £77 million.
As money loses value in the recession more people are beginning to realise that health certainly is wealth. To make themselves feel better despite the economic gloom people are working out and attending spas. Research has shown that exercise boosts confidence and can fight off depression. This may be a factor in why the fitness industry has grown its market value by four per cent since 2008. There are also some other possible explanations as to why the fitness sector has done so well during the recession. One is that when consumers tighten the purse strings, healthy eating habits often get cut from the budget. Perhaps this extra spending on fitness is a product of consumers looking elsewhere for their health fix. Whatever the reason, it’s a good time to be in the industry.
So it’s not quite all doom and gloom, at least if you happen to be in the right game. The thing to remember is that there’s always a niche to be filled, and if you’re able to change with the game, you can survive the slow times.
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