Who’s Doing Well?

We canvassed broadcasters around the country to find out which business categories in their markets are thriving these days. While much of the growth has occurred among the stores that aren’t as accessible to us—the big box stores and online sites, notably—many local businesses, whether current advertisers, can use your advertising media to call attention to their benefits.

FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS. While traditional sit-down restaurants, forced to close their seating areas (or, in certain states, allowed to offer outdoor dining to a limited clientele), are offering take out and curbside delivery as a way of staying alive, the eateries that have always been dominant in that area are doing very well—in some cases, better than before.

FURNITURE STORES. After months of being caged in our domestic prisons, is it any surprise that this category is surging? But with demand high, furniture retailers are experiencing supply-chain issues.

NEW CAR DEALERS. Pent-up demand is fueling the revival of the dealerships. The category would be stronger if the tin shops could get enough product.

USED CAR DEALERS. Many people, especially the millions thrown out of work in recent months, are saving money on a needed vehicular upgrade by going pre-owned.

PAWN SHOPS. See above.

AUTO PARTS STORES. Another category that does well with people looking to save some money by repairing rather than replacing.

HARDWARE STORES. Anyone who has spent the last six months staring at the same walls, the same furniture, the stains in the carpet, the same old kitchen, is renewing or upgrading the relationship with a local hardware store. Hopefully that hardware store is not one of the. . .

BIG BOX STORES. Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, Sam’s Club. . . Like it or not, these stores are gobbling up business like nobody’s-well, you get the idea.

E-COMMERCE SITES. With everyone staying close to home and fearful of excessive contact with others, even the necessities (groceries, paper goods, etc.) are being ordered online with greater and greater frequency. Of course, gargantuan Amazon has seen spectacular growth in recent months.

ONLINE SERVICES. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wishes he’d bought stock in Zoom a few months ago. A few months ago, few of us had even heard of it, defaulting to an inferior service like Skype. Now, Zoom is the dominant resource for videoconferencing, with several others, including Google, nipping at their heels. These services don’t offer much of a revenue opportunity for local radio, but they sure are a convenient way of maintaining social distance.

Certainly some of the above is beyond our reach, but we should be able to work well with many of the foregoing businesses, and we should be able to identify easily other businesses with the means and the desire to improve market share, as well as those businesses that need our help to survive.