Important information: The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.

STAYING IN looks like it is, once again, the thing to do. Not that we had completely given up on the stay-at-home trend we’ve all been forced to adopt for the past 18 months, anyway.

They say it can take anywhere between 18 and 254 days to develop a habit, so we’ve had plenty of time to adapt to the ‘new normal’. Little surprise then that over the past 12 months 66% of us say we now shop online more often, 41% of us use delivery and pick-up services more and 37% of us watch more online streaming video services.1

All the convenience of staying home and still being able to eat, drink and be entertained had never really worn thin - even when going out was once again a thing we could do.

Whatever has kept you going during the pandemic, it’s estimated that 92% of us will carry on doing it.  How we work, learn, shop and play have changed for good.

Whether you’re glued to the latest big screen release on a small screen near you. Or, you just like doing the weekly shop in your PJs. The stay-at-home vibe is all about convenience.  And as a result, the stay-at-home economy is booming.

This week’s trading update from Ocado Group (OCDO) showed that. Average customer orders were 8.5% higher in the 13 weeks to 28 November compared with the same period a year ago and while the average basket value fell by 12%, to £118, meaning sales were 4% lower overall than in 2020, they were still 32% higher they were in 2019, suggesting the shift in consumer patterns it has seen during the pandemic is here to stay.

Just Eat Takeaway (JET) and Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM) are two other pandemic winners. Domino’s has seen its shares hit a new all-time high after reporting a 28% jump in first-half pre-tax profits. It reported sales of £572 million in six months - up 20% on the same period last year, at a time when it had already seen a surge in lockdown sales.

Not to be outdone, Just Eat generated revenue of £2.1 billion in 2020 a 61% increase year-on-year, after a billion orders have been placed by hungry Just Eat customers in the UK alone since its launch in 2001.

Some 200 million of them were in the first nine months of this year, and this is very important to note. Because, while Just Eat had been steadily losing market share in recent years to rivals like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, that trend has been reversed in 2021.

Analysts at Morningstar say Just Eat is the best-positioned food delivery group in Europe “due to its sustainable and profitable core”, making it better-placed to expand delivery, given its network and scale advantages.

IAS Pandemic Effects UK, July 2021

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