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So, Zoom's old hat. What's the future for sourdough, Netflix and mail order wine? And how does Joe Wicks affect my investment strategy?

Nov 23, 2021

. We've taken five lockdown trends and assessed what lies in store for the businesses associated with the peculiarities of the pandemic. In the same breath, we’ve tried to find the new winners as we head slowly back to normality Exercising with fitness guru Joe Wicks led to a run on kettlebells, resistance bands and trainers The fall of shares in Zoom reveals that even the biggest pandemic winner has probably enjoyed its day in the sun – even if its fortunes were closely linked to the world’s greatest modern-day public health emergency. The reality for Zoom is it now has to satisfy Wall Street that it can keep pace with analysts’ expectations. That it did just that on Monday (and a little more) and yet was hit with an 8% mark-down in its share price reveals just how tough it is and will continue to be to satisfy a very demanding market. A valuation of 17-times this year’s revenues means Zoom has a lot to do to justify its current capitalisation – even after losing more than half of its peak market value from October last year. Looking ahead, we’ve taken five lockdown trends and have assessed what lies in store for the businesses associated with the peculiarities of the pandemic. In the same breath, we’ve tried to find the new winners as we head slowly back to normality. 1. Joe Wicks Remember him? The curly-haired, stubbled Essex Adonis that got us exercising (and some pulses racing before they’d even lifted a kettlebell). Joe and his ilk sparked panic buying of weights, resistance bands, trainers, sweatshirts, leggings and Peloton bikes. While the latter's shares are down 73% since last Christmas, Amazon did well on this online store dash – and seems unperturbed by the return to normality with the share price up 12% in the year to date. The narrative around companies such as Amazon is that the pandemic condensed a digital revolution in retail that could have taken half a decade into 12 short months. Long-term, this continues to erode the high street. Post-lockdown winners The beneficiaries of the return to normality are probably the last vestiges of mainstream bricks and mortar retail: Next, Marks & Spencer and Associated British Foods’ Primark. Next and Marks are now firmly bricks and clicks - and, with the closure, of the likes of Debenhams and Arcadia, face less competition. Private equity’s reported interest in Marks suggests the market isn’t fully pricing in its post-pandemic recovery prospects even if the shares are up 87% year to date. My name’s Hans, and my name’s Franz (and we’re gonna pump YOU up) Of course, the anti-Joe Wickes investment call would be a business of the ilk of GymGroup, though its shares, at 276p, and up 31% in the year to date, appear well and truly back to pre-pandemic levels. 2. Sourdough In the early days of lockdown, everyone had a sourdough starter on the go, while social media pages were filled with pictures of loaves of all sizes and descriptions. Sales of now-retired bread makers went through the roof (another Amazon speciality) while the local artisan baker shops went to the wall. A return to form (and then some) Out of that carnage has returned Greggs, purveyor of the Shields Dummy (sausage roll) and the steak bake. Everyone’s favourite baker has seen its share price jump more than 140% since hitting its pre-pandemic low. The stock is at record levels at more that £30 a share as it has emerged scarred but unbowed from Britain’s flirtation with poncy new forms of carbs. Probably not a buy at this point. Singer Sam Fender explains just what a Shields Dummy is as he takes the North vs South food challenge  3. Home Delivery Amazon, we know, did well and has continued to thrive as the UK emerged from house arrest. But do you remember trying to book a grocery home delivery? You just couldn’t get a slot from the first six weeks after March 23. Did the grocers do well out of lockdown? Well, it’s not entirely certain. Yes, demand for loo rolls and essential items went through the roof, but so did costs. Did the market fully appreciate the potential of the food retailers? Arguably it did not and it probably still doesn’t. The disappearance of Morrisons into private equity hands is a case in point. PE loves a bargain and can sniff one a mile off. That Marks & Spencer (a food retailer masquerading as a clothing and homewares chain) and Sainsbury continue to be in the cross-hairs of the buyout titans suggest the sector may still be worth a punt. It was the perfect storm for JustEat Takeaway, which topped out at a tad under £100 a share as it retraced its steps back below its early March 2020 lows as analysts have continued to pick away at the basic business model. The pandemic provided the perfect storm for Deliveroo’s listing in April this year. Arguably it’s been a bit of s*%t-show since then, with share price still below its 390p valuation at listing. Corner shop brought to your door The pandemic may not have spawned corner shop delivery groups such as Getir, Dija and Gorillas but it has transformed their fortunes. In the case of Istanbul-founded Getir it has helped create a business valued at US$7.5bn at its last funding round, while Gorillas is reportedly close to achieving unicorn status. 4. Netflix and thrill Of course, the streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus – all did well as subscriptions soared as we hunkered down evenings (afternoons, mornings) at home in front of the small screen. Netflix, up 26% in the year to date, is faring well. However, subscriber bases can’t grow exponentially as they have in the past (you just run out of people at some point). While Disney generated some short-term disappointment with its latest new user numbers, the industry outlook is reasonably benign for the next five years. According to the latest intel from Research and Markets, the industry is likely to grow at a compound annual rate of 18.5%. So, we are not quite in Zoom territory yet in having to sprint to keep up with expectations. A return to the silver screen? Probably not in the near term. While the latest James Bond epic No Time to Die has packed the aisles, London’s analyst community isn’t expecting an imminent revival in the fortunes for cinema chains such as Cineworld. Of the eight analysts following this stock, seven have ‘neutral’ recommendations and one is an outright ‘seller’ of Cineworld. 5. In vino veritas Remember early on in lockdown having that daily medicinal bottle of wine before tottering up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire? Certainly, home delivery groups such as Naked Wines and Virgin Wines probably do. And they did well as result, as did the beer delivery companies that popped up and prospered. Unfortunately, they’re probably now enduring the hangover, judging by the respective prices of Naked and Virgin this year (we’d love it if these two merged) as normal service has been resumed. Let’s go down the pub Judging from the frantic scenes at the bars of most city centre and country pubs, so do the unwashed masses, who it seems are ready to do further liver damage – this time with friends rather than on their own in front of the TV with a large bowl of salted nuts. Yet the year-to-date has been a bit tickly for the listed pub chains such as JD Wetherspoon, and Pitcher and Piano group Marstons. That said, it means there maybe there’s some recovery juice in the respective stocks. Themed chains such as Loungers and Fulham Shore have fared a lot better. If those two are now too expensive for your tastes, Hostmore, the owner of FRIDAYS, maybe a decent bounce-back play at less than six times underlying earnings. Quick facts: Zoom Video Communications Inc Follow

Joe Wicks Investments

3 Investments

Joe Wicks has made 3 investments. Their latest investment was in Gousto as part of their Series F on April 4, 2020.

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Joe Wicks Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

4/16/2020

Series F

Gousto

$41M

No

6

7/15/2019

Series E - II

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$99M

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10

1/7/2019

Series E

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$99M

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10

Date

4/16/2020

7/15/2019

1/7/2019

Round

Series F

Series E - II

Series E

Company

Gousto

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Amount

$41M

$99M

$99M

New?

No

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Co-Investors

Sources

6

10

10

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