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23 Companies That Have Actually Benefited From the Pandemic

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It's Not All Doom and Gloom

COVID-19 has been bad news for most companies, especially many long-standing bricks-and-mortar retail chains now struggling to survive. But while many are weathering a major downturn, plenty of others are riding high, largely thanks to business models that were uniquely positioned to benefit from people spending more time at home and online. Here are just some of the familiar names that aren't exactly suffering during the pandemic.

Related: 14 Industries That Have Been Hit Hardest By the Pandemic

Old-School Crafts
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Domino's Pizza
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Wingstop
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Wingstop

How about some wings to go with that pizza? Wingstop has also been a big winner with diners tired of cooking at home but still unable or unwilling to go out to eat. Like Domino's, it has benefited from a business model that relies on to-go orders even in normal times. Second-quarter sales, covering April through June, were up 37% over the same period last year.

Peloton
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Peloton

At-home workouts have become the norm for many people right now, and that's been a major boon for Peloton. Buyers snapped up the company's pricey stationary bikes at an unheard of clip earlier this year, boosting third-quarter sales 66% from the previous year. Peloton also held its largest-ever online class in April, with 23,000 riders streaming the same workout from home.

Zoom headquarters in San Jose, California
Zoom headquarters in San Jose, California by Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA)

Zoom

Perhaps no other company has vaulted into our daily lives and lingo quite so quickly as Zoom. The video conferencing platform has become the default for virtual meetings, and it shows in the numbers: In early June, it reported a 169% rise in revenue over last year. Of course, it hasn't been completely smooth sailing, with the company spending big in part to combat security concerns like "Zoombombing," when uninvited participants join meetings to harass others.

Related: 20 Hacks and Tips for Video Chatting on Zoom, Hangouts, and More

Campbell's soup
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Campbell's

If only a warm bowl of soup could make this all go away. That seems to be what some Americans are hoping for, though, as Campbell's saw its third-quarter sales surge 15%compared with last year, the company announced in June. The numbers represent quite a turnaround for the iconic company, which had previously seen consumers skipping its mostly processed comfort food in favor of more health-conscious items.

General Mills Cheerios
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General Mills

Chicken noodle soup isn't the only comfort food we're craving during the pandemic. General Mills, which makes everything from cereal to Yoplait yogurt to Betty Crocker baking mixes, saw its fourth-quarter net sales rise 21% over the same period last year as consumers stocked up on pantry-friendly staples. 

Match.com
Match.com

Match

What's a lonely heart to do in the midst of a global pandemic? Turn to online dating, obviously. Match Group, owner of popular dating sites and apps including Match, Tinder, and OKCupid, recently said second-quarter earnings were up 11.5%. The company has been adding new video-chat features to many of its sites in efforts to attract and keep new users unsure of meeting up in person.

Related: Surprising Facts About Love in America

Amazon Boxes
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Amazon

You probably saw this one coming. At the end of July, the e-commerce giant reported a mind-blowing $5.2 billion — yes, that's billion, with a "b" — in net profit for its second quarter, a 100% increase from one year ago. It's all the more impressive because the eye-popping number comes in spite of $4 billion in spending on pandemic-related costs, including a one-time $500 billion bonus for frontline workers.

Related: 16 Businesses That Amazon Has Threatened

Netflix
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Netflix

If you've been doing a lot more binge-watching lately, you're far from alone. In the first half of the year, Netflix has added 26 million new subscribers, just 2 million short of the 28 million it added in all of 2019. However, the company warns that those numbers will decline significantly for the rest of the year, betting that most people hungry for streaming content already count Netflix among their subscriptions.

Related: 24 Successful Businesses Launched During Economic Downturns

Clorox Wipes
Target
Kroger
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Wayfair
Wayfair

Wayfair

Debunked conspiracy theories aside, Wayfair has had a good year. The online furniture seller finally reported a profit — something that hadn't happened in years — and sales jumped nearly 84% from last year in its second quarter, which ended in June. The company attributes the turn of fortune to lockdowns priming consumers to spend big on their homes instead of travel or entertainment.

Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing
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Nintendo

Plenty of parents with young children owe much of their work-from-home productivity to the likes of Nintendo and other video-game makers. Frustrated would-be buyers can attest to lingering shortages of the Nintendo Switch, and the enormous popularity of "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" has also padded the company's bottom line. Operating profits ballooned 428% in its fiscal first quarter, which ended in June.

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PayPal

All this pandemic-fueled online shopping is giving one of the more established names in e-commerce quite a boost. PayPal's quarterly profit was up 86% over last year, the company said at the end of last month. It also added more than 21 million new accounts, a 137% increase over last year.

Tractor Supply Co.
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Tractor Supply Co.

Often overshadowed by big-box competitors like Home Depot and Lowe's, Tractor Supply Co. saw its second-quarter net sales jump 35% compared with last year. Customers have been flooding in for everything from fencing to live chickens as they've been spending more time on "quarantine projects" to improve their homes and properties.

Walmart
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White Claw
Walmart
Microsoft
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Microsoft

Companies and households have invested in new technologies and equipment to support everyone from remote workers to bored kids, a fact that has helped fatten the bottom line of tech giants including Microsoft. Revenue was up 13% over last year in the company's fourth quarter, a combination of increased demand for cloud data storage, gaming products and services like Xbox and Minecraft, and Surface devices.

Dollar General
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Dollar General

Bad times are often good times for dollar stores, and the pandemic has borne that out. Dollar General's first-quarter net sales were up nearly 28% over last year as Americans looked to stock up without overspending or traveling too far from home. The company also paid out $50 million in bonuses to frontline workers.

Related: 15 Industries That Would Benefit From a Recession

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iPhone 11
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Payless ShoeSource
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Payless ShoeSource

Yes, Payless declared bankruptcy last year and shut down all 2,500 of its U.S. stores, but it may creep back into the market as a tough economy speeds up the chain's plans to reinvent itself. Payless is opening a store in Miami in November and could open 350 to 500 more within the next five years, CEO Jared Margolis says.