COVID-19 and the economy

COVID-19 and the economy

Uncertainty around the future of global economy is at the forefront of concerns around the COVID-19 outbreak, both publically and privately. Those hardest hit will require ongoing support, which is why our people are raising awareness wherever possible, through research and thought-sharing across a variety of mediums.

You can learn more by reading some of our research articles and think pieces, available at the links below.

Fashion and retail

How the luxury fashion industry can build back better after COVID-19

The British School of Fashions's Professor Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas explored marketing and sustainable innovation in the wake of the pandemic in the latest in the Resilience and Reconstruction Speaker Series of talks presented by The Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC)

Professor Radclyffe-Thomas discussed how disrupted supply chains, financial instability and travel restrictions have derailed the fashion industry's projected growth and, while lockdown has had a positive effect on the environment, industry watchers fear its previous commitments to responsible business and sustainability could be lost. She looked at innovation as a core attribute of luxury fashion brands and examined examples of marketing strategy and sustainable innovation in the luxury fashion sector as it works to build back better.

Marketing during COVID-19

The latest in the Resilience and Reconstruction Speaker Series of talks presented by The Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) explored how branding and marketing professionals are responding to COVID-19. 

Lucien Etori, Executive Strategy Director at R/GA, and strategy and marketing expert Prasan Kumar discussed how brands and marketers are responding to changes in how consumers use media and make decisions. They looked at historical global crisis, the macro economic landscape and consumer intentions to better understand how marketers can succeed in a pandemic.

Ethical fashion brands that can make a difference

Dr Elaine Ritch, Glasgow School of Business & Society has written for the i newspaper on 12 June 2020 on ‘The ethical fashion brands that can help us to make a difference'.  The global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the fashion industry, further impacting on those who are allegedly exploited within supply chain management.  Some fashion businesses have responded by supporting efforts to manage the pandemic, illustrating the potential for the fashion industry to reconsider practice and address sustainability. 

Impact of COVID-19 on the UK retail sector

Dr Cara Connell from the Department of Fashion, Marketing, Tourism and Events provided an analysis for The Herald on Sunday 15 June 2020 on the impact that COVID-19 has had on the UK retail sector.  The major challenges facing the retail sector were highlighted as well as the steps being taken to address these. Importantly, potential areas for future growth and recovery were identified.  

Recovery from recession

Scotland's cities face longer recovery from lockdown

City centre hotels are most at risk from closure and will take longer to recover post-lockdown as tourists opt for rural destinations, experts have warned.

The Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University is providing hospitality data and policy advice to the Scottish Government as the industry maps out its recovery plans.

Data from mid-July to October last year shows self-catering accommodation in rural destinations boomed but hotel occupancy rates in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen remained low.

Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre, said: "Hotels carry such high fixed costs, that unless you have the same volume of revenue coming through you can only continue for a couple of months, even with furlough.  We saw some very peculiar patterns in Scottish tourism last year - a reverse of traditional demand.  The second wave makes it very tough. Few businesses can endure a whole year of negative trading.  There is hope though, people have money saved up and the demand is still there. People will want to go on holiday but international travel will be more difficult because of access.  It will be really interesting to see if the same patterns emerge when restrictions are eased this time."

Professor Yunus discusses Common Good and COVID-19

Chancellor Emeritus Professor Muhammad Yunus discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the Common Good as part of the Resilience and Reconstruction Speaker series presented by The Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) on 3 December 2020.

Professor Yunus drew on his recent masterclass in which he discussed the opportunities for change that could be created in a post-pandemic world.

In No Going Back – Post Corona Reconstruction Programme, global anti-poverty campaigner, Nobel Laureate and Founder of the Grameen Bank, Professor Yunus discussed how "Despite the massive damage it has caused, the pandemic offers unparalleled opportunities and audacious possibilities that never existed before".

Recovery from the COVID-19 economic recession

A 'bounce-back' fund needs to be set up to help businesses around the North Coast 500 recover from the COVID-19 economic recession.  Highlands & Islands MSP David Stewart was inspired by a study by the Moffat Centre for Tourism at GCU which found that the route had boosted the north Highland economy by more than £22million over 12 months.  The article appeared in the Ross-shire Journal on 13 August 2020.

Financial support for vulnerable families

Dr Olga Biosca and Professor Cam Donaldson were joint signatories in a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, coordinated by Responsible Finance, calling for support for financial support for vulnerable families.  Research by GCU’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health was quoted in the letter.  The response, from Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister, John Glen MP, stated that the work conducted on behalf of the most financially vulnerable is recognised, but that additional hardship funding would not be committed for the time being.  However, No-Interest Loan Scheme asked for was committed to, but without a timeline.


Review on visitor attraction recovery

GCU's Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism has published a review on visitor attraction recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.  Glasgow Caledonian University Release Visitor Attraction Survey following COVID-19.

The Centre has provided the only monthly data source of national accommodation and visitor attraction performance during 2020 since the advent of COVID-19. The centre has been able to provide detailed analysis on particular sectors such as; the Night Time Economy and Heritage Attraction Sectors. Data and related analysis has been supplied to; the Scottish Government, Scottish Tourist Alliance, Scottish Tourism Emergency Recovery Group and VisitScotland.

Fear of survival amongst Scotland's ethical tourist firms

Also in the press in Thomson Reuters on 20 May 2020, Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre, contributed to a piece on fear of survival amongst Scotland’s ethical tourist firms.


Research at GCU

Research is instrumental in tackling society’s biggest problems. The health, social and economic challenges uncovered by COVID-19 brings into sharp focus our commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all.

Sustainable Development Goals

These global goals reflect our ethos as the University for the Common Good and our mission to make a positive difference to the communities we serve. Read our institutional research strategy to find out more about our commitment to the SDGs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond.

The icons below show which of the 17 SDGs we aim to impact through the research above.