Zoom corporate headquarters in San Jose, Silicon Valley
Sundry Photography/istockphoto

20 Companies That Have Actually Benefited From the Pandemic

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Zoom corporate headquarters in San Jose, Silicon Valley
Sundry Photography/istockphoto

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 have weathered 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 haven't exactly suffering during the pandemic.


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

DoorDash kitchens storefront. DoorDash Kitchens is shared ghost kitchen model of on-demand prepared food delivery service
Michael Vi/istockphoto

DoorDash

It might seem unlikely, but this inescapable food-delivery company was actually struggling before the pandemic. That’s not the case anymore: Bolstered by the sudden shutdown of in-door dining, it went public at the end of 2020, and its stock price is already up 45% despite many people returning to restaurants.

Hello Fresh, 2021
Hello Fresh

HelloFresh

The pandemic meant people weren’t just steering clear from restaurants — some were trying to limit trips to the grocery, too. That meant a big opportunity for meal-kit companies like HelloFresh, which closed out 2020 with a 107% surge in sales. While this year is unlikely to sustain that kind of growth, HelloFresh says it should retain enough subscribers and attract enough new ones to see strong numbers in 2021. 


Old-School Crafts
anyaivanova/istockphoto

Etsy

This online marketplace where crafters sell directly to the public has been one of the more unexpected pandemic success stories. The company’s sellers stepped in to fill a huge demand for face masks last spring, but it turns out that customers have been happy to stick around and buy more than PPE. The company’s stock hit an all-time high in February, and while the company expects growth won’t be quite so dramatic in 2021, it notes that it has seen a sustained rise in active buyers.


Related: Masks and Accessories to Make Covering Your Face More Comfortable 

Domino's Pizza
TennesseePhotographer/istockphoto
Wingstop
jetcityimage/istockphoto

Wingstop

How about some wings to go with that pizza? Wingstop was also a big winner with diners tired of cooking at home but still unable or unwilling to go out to eat. Like Domino's, it benefited from a business model that relies on to-go orders even in normal times, and same-store sales were up 32% in the second quarter of 2020. Also like Domino’s, it’s still growing, and it even launched a virtual brand, Thighstop, to keep profits fat as wing prices have soared.


Peloton
Andrei Stanescu/istockphoto

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 in 2020. It appears that many people aren’t overly eager to return to the gym, either: In May, Peloton reported 141% year-over-year sales growth, with faster delivery times helping counteract a recall of its popular treadmill. 


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

Zoom

Perhaps no other company vaulted into our daily lives and lingo last year quite so quickly as Zoom. The video conferencing platform has become the default for virtual meetings, and it shows in the numbers: In 2020, it mushroomed into a company with a market cap of well over $100 billion even though it had only been on the Nasdaq for just over a year. While Zoom’s value has declined a bit since its October 2020 peak, it remains a major tech success story and recently announced plans to acquire cloud-software company Five9.


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

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, has seen steady growth over the course of the past year, and the momentum is only growing as vaccinations again make in-person meetups more feasible. Revenue was up 21% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with 2020, the company recently reported.


Related: Surprising Facts About Love in America

Amazon Boxes
Jeramey Lende/shutterstock

Amazon

You probably saw this one coming. The e-commerce giant was a major beneficiary when brick-and-mortar stores were forced to shut down last year, accelerating the already rapid shift to online shopping. Even as people have trickled back into stores, Amazon continues to roll: Its stock is up 10% in 2021, and revenue was up a hefty 44% in the first quarter.


Related: 16 Businesses That Amazon Has Threatened

Netflix
wutwhanfoto/istockphoto

Netflix

If you did a lot more binge-watching during the pandemic than usual, you're far from alone. In the first half of 2020, Netflix added 26 million new subscribers, just 2 million short of the 28 million it added in all of 2019. However, the company warned that it would see a significant decline in those numbers, betting that most people hungry for streaming content already count Netflix among their subscriptions — and its latest numbers confirm that warning.


Related: 24 Successful Businesses Launched During Economic Downturns

Clorox Wipes
Target

Clorox

Anxious buyers swept Clorox wipes and other disinfectants from shelves as soon as they were restocked last year, and it showed in the company's numbers. Stocks climbed to a high of more than $236 in July of last year, and while they’ve declined somewhat since then, they’re still trading well above pre-pandemic levels, notes The Motley Fool.

Kroger
jetcityimage/istockphoto

Kroger

It paid to be an essential business last year. Mega-grocer Kroger reaped major gains as shoppers stocked up on groceries and stayed away from restaurants last year, and it continues to beat out competitors, who are suffering a post-pandemic slump. In fact, its shares have surged more than 20% in the first half of 2021 thanks to big investments in its store brands and digital shopping experience, according to Nasdaq.

Wayfair
Wayfair

Wayfair

Debunked conspiracy theories aside, Wayfair had a good 2020, and its momentum has continued in 2021. The online furniture seller finally reported a profit — something that hadn't happened in years — and sales jumped nearly 84% last year as consumers spent big on their homes instead of travel or entertainment.

Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing
Walmart

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 could attest to lingering shortages of the Nintendo Switch during the pandemic, and the enormous popularity of "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" also padded the company's bottom line. The company is still looking strong in 2021, with the Switch the best-selling console in the U.S. for the first six months of the year.


Tractor Supply Co.
r I./Yelp

Tractor Supply Co.

Often overshadowed by big-box competitors like Home Depot and Lowe's, Tractor Supply Co saw its sales jump in 2020 as customers flooded in for everything from fencing to live chickens for "quarantine projects" to improve their homes and properties. The retailer is continuing its strong showing in 2021 — net sales were up 13.4% in the second quarter compared with 2020.

Walmart
RiverNorthPhotography/istockphoto
Microsoft
Asif Islam/shutterstock

Microsoft

Companies and households invested in new technologies and equipment to support everyone from remote workers to bored kids during the pandemic, helping fatten the bottom line of tech giants including Microsoft. Revenue was up in 2020 thanks to increased demand for cloud data storage, gaming products and services like Xbox and Minecraft, and Surface devices. Its cloud services continue to be particularly strong performers in 2021.

Dollar General
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Join the Local Facebook Group
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Facebook

All that mindless “doomscrolling” through gloomy headlines and friends' stressed-out updates meant a boost for Facebook's mostly ad-based business last year, and the juggernaut keeps rolling in 2021. The tech giant continues to beat earnings expectations, and its stock is up 37% since the start of the year. 

iPhone 11
Seremin/istockphoto

Apple

Economic uncertainty amid the pandemic did little to dampen enthusiasm for Apple products and services. The company saw revenue jump last year amid growing demand for the iPhone, plus increased usage of services like the App Store, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Lately, the company has seen more of the same, with record revenue from services and a 50% jump in iPhone sales.


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