From Netflix to sex toys: The businesses benefitting from the Covid-19 pandemic

Amazon is among the companies to see an increase in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon is among the companies to see an increase in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic. © AFP / FRANCE 24

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on dozens of industries with fears of a global economic recession to rival the Great Depression. But for a few companies, business is booming as the pandemic triggers a surge in demand for their products.


In supermarkets, shelves have been emptied of goods such as rice, pasta and bread as people in lockdown stock up on staples. The panic-buying of toilet paper has been reported the world over and Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s largest toilet paper manufacturers, has reported a 10 percent surge in US sales this year.

People being forced to stay indoors has also increased demand for home entertainment and Netflix has been one of the biggest beneficiaries.

Some 15.8 million people signed up to the streaming service in the first quarter of this year, more than double the company’s own projections.

Others have sought alternative ways to keep themselves occupied at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cannabis sales soared by more than 50 percent in March in several US states where the drug is legal, according to figures from Flowhub.

Adult toy makers from countries including Denmark, Colombia and New Zealand have said sales are booming.

“The last week has been crazy. We have increased the sale by approximately 100% in all Scandinavian countries. So I think it's because now we are used to the new normal and now we need to have a bit more fun actually in our lives,’ Mathilde Mackowski, co-owner of Danish company Sinful, told Reuters. 

Few businesses, though, can match the performance of online retail giant Amazon.

The company has seen ‘unprecedented demand’, according to analysts, as people across the world under lockdown measures turn to online shopping.

Amazon’s market value surged to a record high of $1.2 trillion in recent weeks, increasing the wealth of owner and the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, by around $24 billion this year, according to Bloomberg.

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