The Impact of Coronavirus on Consumer Goods Industries in Australia

May 2020

The impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) differs across consumer goods industries in Australia, with discretionary items such as luxury goods, premium products and apparel the most negatively affected. In contrast essential items such as fresh food, packaged food and home care items are experiencing higher demand. Channels of distribution have been also affected with the demand shifting from physical stores to online channels.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

A shift from the physical to the virtual

The impact of COVID-19 on retailers relying largely on in-store revenue has been more severe than those trading through multiple distribution channels. Those with stronger e-commerce capabilities are in a better position to overcome a drop in foot traffic and revenue from stores, as consumers shift to online channels for the entire path of purchase.

Flexibility key to adapting to changing times

Flexibility and agility will be paramount in mitigating losses from the impact of the lockdown. Retailers that have successfully found new ways to continue to engage with customers and focus on new product ranges that respond to the current situation including “lockdown” and “stay at home” essentials, will be better positioned. Virtual services are also proving a successful tactic to mitigate lost revenue.

Crisis response efforts by government and retailers successful in restocking store shelves

Panic buying has disrupted supply chains and has resulted in the successful introduction of temporary measures by retailers and/or the government. These include limiting quantities of products purchased, the lifting of transport curfews to support essential retailers in replenishing their shelves and factories operating 24/7.

Consumer’s preferences and priorities change

COVID-19 and preventative measures by the government have influenced consumers’ purchasing behaviour, with spikes in demand for products perceived as enhancing overall wellbeing, including feel-good and pampering products and hygiene boosting items. In contrast, demand for categories influenced by restricted socialising, including cosmetics and apparel, has declined.


Key findings
Australians turn to their favourites
Channel shift impacts on-trade volume sales
Struggling apparel and footwear retailers severely hit
Agility necessary to maintain revenues
Good hygiene measures continue to support sales of liquid soap
Premium beauty and personal care the most affected
New online services help mitigate losses
Dramatic short-term increase in demand for pantry essentials
Intensifying reliance on e-commerce for ready meals
Short-term challenge for fresh food expected to dissipate
Seafood industry struggles and red meat grows
Limits on dispensing and sales of over-the-counter medicines
Supply chain disruptions reflected in higher prices
Opportunities emerge through online channels
Skyrocketing demand leads to supply chain disruptions
Manufacturers and retailers respond to increased demand
Drop in Chinese tourists impacts Australian luxury market
Luxury players improve their digital experience

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks is the aggregation of beer, wine, spirits, cider/perry and RTDs.

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