This Week's Herman Trend Alert

COVID-19 and Sleep

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 7, 2020

Winners and Losers in Normal 2.0

If you are like me, you enjoy eating meals outside of the house. Local restaurants and cafés have been our meeting places for years. One of the many casualties of this pandemic has been our ability to relish this social and gustatory experience. While local restaurants, retail stores, and others are suffering or even going out of business, other companies are breaking their own sales records.

Biggest Losers

National Retail Chains
We have already lost a handful of major retailers J. Crew, Pier One, J.C. Penney, and Neiman Marcus---bricks and mortar store chains with thousands of employees. These companies are unlikely to rise from their ashes.

Local Restaurants and Retail Stores
With the exception of supermarkets and pet care stores, neighborhood eateries and retailers are either struggling or gone. Due to the local ordinances regarding capacity, If the locals want to avoid going out of business, they need to reinvent themselves. Some already have. Solutions for restaurants include pre-paid meal programs and repurposing space to sell bulk quantities of paper products and other essentials that we do not seem to be able to live without. Other restaurants have started to bottle and market their special sauces.

Some Small Colleges
Small under-resourced liberal arts colleges are not doing well. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania estimate that 20 percent of private liberal-arts colleges in the United States---about 200 or more institutions---are close to bankruptcy. The solution is for colleges to take drastic measures. That is exactly what Wells College did. Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, this 400-student liberal arts college cut its tuition by 25 percent, to USD $30,000/year. In July, the college announced its enrollment was better than expected. That success, together with substantial donations and a bridge loan, permitted Wells to reopen and bring students back to campus this fall.

Meeting Planners and Speakers
You can imagine if we are not having large in-person meetings with thousands of people in the audiences that some of the people who plan those huge events are not working now. And many of the speakers they hired are also scrambling to get really good at engaging remote audiences---not necessarily easy to do. If you are looking to hire professional speakers, for the foreseeable future, you might want to ensure that they are Certified Virtual Presenters as I am.

Major Winners

Online Retailers and Ancillary Businesses
While small bricks and mortar retailers are having problems, online retailers and the Big-Box stores are doing extremely well. Amazon and UPS cannot hire drivers fast enough. The supermarkets cannot keep their shelves stocked. The furniture stores like Ikea are doing very well and the hardware Big Boxes like Home Depot and Lowes in the US are also way up year-over-year. And the car dealers are selling cars faster than expected, because since many of us cannot travel by air, we are choosing to travel by car. And let us not forget the trades people and contractors who are handling the home renovations.

Online Platforms and Other Software
Zoom, Webex, Eventinterface, Jitsi Meet, and other virtual meeting platforms are seeing record usage. And because we rely on broadband for communication with the outside world as well as entertainment, the cable and dish companies that supply those services are also having very good years. And let us not forget about the cyber security software to protect the platforms and our vulnerable data.

The Death Care Industry is Booming
With COVID-19 topping 35 million confirmed cases worldwide---and over a million deaths, the global death care is better than ever before. From hospital chaplains to grief counselors to funeral parlors, this industry is one which sadly is growing fast.

Online Coaching and Training
As employers seek to upskill their people, online coaches and trainers are also doing very well. The trick is to be able to shift services to virtual without losing effectiveness.

Pet Care Goods and Services
Last week, I covered the new somatic marker which is causing us to buy animals or to spend more time with the animals we have. This shift has created significant growth in the petcare industry.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
With another rise in COVID-19 infections expected soon, we will all need masks and frontline healthcare professionals will need gowns and gloves, too.

This list is by no means complete, but this Herman Trend Alert is already twice the length as usual---before COVID-19. Thanks for understanding! As we go to press. . .Regal Cinemas has announced temporary closing of all of its theatres.

Next Week: HR in Normal 2.0
HR has a huge part to play in helping organization to thrive in Normal 2.0. Next week, we will look at HR's functions and how they will be different.

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