Recession-Proof Strategies for a Post-Pandemic World


So much has changed in 2020. Before this year, words such as “quarantine” or “lockdown” seemed the stuff of dystopian films or fiction, and expressions such as “social distancing” weren’t daily vocabulary staples. Meanwhile, the changes WGSN predicted for the next decade – think above-the-keyboard dressing, called out as one of the 20 Trends for the 2020s, digitisation and adaptogens – have accelerated and gone mainstream in a matter of months.

On the subject of change, we know that there’s more to come our way. Until a vaccine is ready, we’re likely to see countries and regions moving in and out of lockdown in the months to come, impacting how people live, work and connect with others.

To Build Recession-Proof Businesses, Focus on Resilience Planning

One thing’s for certain though: a recession is looming. According to Edge – WGSN’s sister brand at Ascential – 170 countries worldwide will enter recession, with economies already shrinking in the US and UK. Even in Asia, where countries were seemingly better prepared for the pandemic due to the experience with SARS, the IMF forecasts a contraction of 1.6% across the region in 2020.

The next 18-24 months will prove critical and a renewed outlook on resilience planning will be key to recession-proof your business. With consumers going through financial anxiety and uncertainty, businesses will need to adapt to best serve people who are factoring cost at every level.


The Future Opportunity


Despite the varying levels of re-emergence and fragmented recovery stages across regions, our emotional states are unified. People want certainty, stability, security and a sense of optimism in unknown times. These consumer drivers, such as financial anxiety or health concerns, will reshape our economies, industries and daily lives, resulting in new product priorities, service needs and shopper strategies. 


As we look ahead, we at WGSN support you in navigating uncertainty and adapting to meet the challenges as they unfold. Our latest white paper, The Value Shift, offers a comprehensive and global analysis of what people will prioritise, appreciate and truly value over the next two years.


Change can be daunting, but with more than 20 years’ experience as change forecasters, we at WGSN know that it’s also an opportunity – to adapt, innovate, perhaps even reinvent. Our white paper provides you with an indispensable guide to do just that. Building a better future starts here.

Our global teams have had countless discussions around the many ‘new normals’ and while challenges differ across regions, one question naturally came up across all: what’s next? Find out in our latest white paper, The Value Shift.


Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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