Industries most impacted by COVID-19

Here are some:

  • Manufacturing (78%),
  • Wholesale industry (74%),
  • Recreation and personal (83%),
  • Information media and telecommunications (75%)
  • Property and business services (74%)
  • Transport, postal and warehousing (72%)

IBISWorld presents a collection of fast facts that outline how the spread of COVID-19 is impacting wholesale industry in different countries. 

  • Australia

Foreign metal and mineral buyers represent 51.2% of the Metal and Mineral Wholesaling industry’s market. Declining construction activity in affected areas, such as China in the first several months of the outbreak, has negatively affected demand from this market.

  • Canada

As many Canadian and global manufacturers temporary close their plants, many wholesalers have followed suit as demand slows. This is expected to lead to many employees being laid off or furloughed.

  • United Kingdom

SMMT reports that only 4,321 new cars were registered in April, with sales suffering 97% drop from April 2019. This is due to closed dealerships and disrupted production lines. Its adjusted prediction for new car registrations in 2020 is down to 1.68 million, a large decline on the 2.3 million cars sold in 2019.

  • New Zealand

New Zealand exports over 90.0% of its iron ore to China. Weakening mineral markets as a result of reduced construction activity in China negatively affect mining activity in New Zealand, and therefore negatively affect demand for Industrial and Mining Machinery Wholesaling.

Strategies for keeping wholesale alive during COVID-19

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has already hit businesses hard. What’s worse is that some experts are saying this is only the beginning. Whether the pandemic ends within a month or two or stretches into the long-term, business owners need to be ready to buckle down, reassess and make changes to their business strategy in order to weather the storm.

If your business is struggling to continue relationships with the retailers you’ve worked so hard to gain, then we have some advice about how to bolster wholesale until the world returns to normal. We have outlined some strategies to keep wholesale alive during COVID-19.

Be a good partner

One of the best wholesale strategies during the COVID-19 outbreak is to just be a good partner. For example, you can temporarily lower wholesale minimums to help ease the cash crunch facing independent retailers. If possible, reduce your case pack minimums by a unit or two to help them bring in a broader assortment with minimal cash outlay.

Make it as easy as possible to sell your products online.

Create professional-quality images, then make those photos available to approved stockists. Many merchants are launching new e-commerce sites, while others are expanding their online offerings. The brands that make it easy to feature their products online will fare better than those who don’t.

Ask shopkeepers to avoid third-party services, placing orders directly with your company whenever possible.

Let your retailers know that placing orders directly with you saves your brand heaps of money at a critical time. Perhaps you can show your gratitude with a few incentives in the form of free or reduced shipping, extra testers, etc.

Think about the mid-term—is something changing in the way your customers are thinking?

While the short-term will continue to be dominated by the pandemic, it is important to think about what happens in the midterm as well. Are your customers going to change how they think or act even after the pandemic passes? Maybe some of them will end up preferring using services or buying products remotely even after quarantines lift. You must consider whether traditional business models are going to continue making sense after things “return to normal”.

Look at your competition – what are they doing and what can you learn?

Some businesses are suffering more than others right now. Study the ones that seem to be making it through this crisis and learn what they’re doing differently. Look at both your indirect and direct competition for the best understanding of what others are doing and which strategies seem to be the most effective. While some strategies may not apply cross industry use what you can and shift these strategies to fit your own needs.


Keep an open mind and stay positive.

COVID-19 challenges

The wholesale channel has dealt with numerous challenges throughout history, but nothing could have prepared it for the issues the coronavirus pandemic has brought and the speed at which they’ve taken place.

  • Challenge #1

Online consumer protection is one of the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted in wholesale industry. For example, there have been reports of dishonest and deceptive practices, with some online sellers offering fake or unsafe hand sanitizers, surgical face masks or disinfectants for sale, and of price-gouging practices by certain manufacturers and retailers seeking to cash in and profit from the surge in demand.

  • Challenge #2

Supply sources are being reassessed, as the former best practice to have one supplier acting as back up proved to not be sufficient to cope with such a crisis. The current situation has shown more than one backup supplier is needed, but also that they should be in a completely different geographical zone than the primary supplier.

  • Challenge #3

The value of e-commerce is being reinforced. This pushes all business partners still running to pivot to a digital buying channel to ensure the safety of employees and deliveries. This event has provided the most compelling reason the industry has seen for moving to the digital channel. Negative factors that previously made companies reluctant to change are suddenly disappearing in place of the urgency to deliver products when needed.

  • Challenge #4

The COVID-19 has brought the issue of dead stock. Now the warehouses are full of dead stocks. Having too much dead stock is harmful for business. It occupies valuable warehouse space that could have been used to store higher revenue-generating products. Here you can find useful information, about how to deal with dead stock.


This is the time when understanding the gravity of the situation and turning it favorable for the business is all that matters to let it sail smoothly. In these difficult times it is important to stand united and help one another in whatever way we can. Stay safe and stay healthy. Like all difficult situations, this too shall pass!