Impact Of Covid-19 On Fashion, Clothing & Shoe Industry
The World is in tatters right now. This new Covid-19 virus is now a pandemic and hitting hard our lives both physically and mentally, while challenging the global economy. Needless to say that the impact of Covid-19 on the fashion and shoe industry is heavy.
More famous shoemakers closing their workshops every day and global behemoths suffer great losses. Many companie closing down and the biggest problem about the people that get no salary or lose their job. Many families that are the backbones of our communities will suffer the most, along with small businesses.
Which Countries Face The Biggest Issues?
This is a hard question to answer mainly due to the fact that Covid-19 cases multiply daily around the world. China is of course the original source and had a very bad initial viral outbreak. South Korea let it slip and faced increasingly difficult times.
Of course there was no escape for popular country USA but the legal system is different there. Apparently each state has to decide individually if they go on lock-down or what laws to enforce.
The Covid-19 impact hammered Europe the most. Many countries are on lock-down or very restricted movements while air traffic is reduced to zero. Italy mourns hundreds of dead people each day in Lombardy and Bergamo, while Spain faces a huge outbreak too. Sweden, takes a rather relaxed approach and people roam around parks and clubs like nothing. Even Greece has fines for those that go out without proper reason. The biggest colossal dingleberry of them all was Boris Johnson (UK) that considered allowing the virus to spread. Recently he came to his senses and enforced some shut-down laws.
Why The Above Section?
Think about it. Most of the big companies make their products in China now. This leads to a global shortage of things, production and factory shutdowns. Then you can add the disruptions in the logistics chain and the massive losses of revenue from closing the physical stores.
Adidas, Suitsupply, Meermin and many more companies will post low numbers this year. The same goes for all the “luxury” designers that make their products there.
Then we move on to my dear shoe industry. The best shoes in the world come from small workshops in Italy and the legendary Northampton region of the UK. Followed by Spain and Portugal of course. With the strict laws and fear their workshops are now closed for the foreseeable future.
If you take only one section of the whole production process out, then the whole chain breaks. But health and safety comes first to mitigate the spread’s curve.
Impact Of Covid-19 on Fashion & Clothing
Simply put, there are no trunk shows or runway shows going to happen any time soon. The Milan Fashion Week in late February was a victim of all this for example. Giorgio Armani for example held his runway in an empty theater. Most malls and department stores closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
This amounts to tremendous revenue losses and most companies are already in debt. It also leads them to lay off workers or send them home in unpaid leave.
Most companies that are smart switch their business model to digital and sell online their ware. For the most part this is not affected. You can still buy your favorite suit from Suitsupply online or Pini Parma is another example. Smart fashion brands switch their runways to virtual or live-streaming shows.
Crossing slightly to shoes, Adidas reported that business in China was 85% down compared to last year. And that was for January. According to reports China accounted for 21% of Adidas’ total business in 2018. And believe me €4.5 billion in sales is not a small number!
Other companies such as Sociedad Textil Lonia offer to turn their production in medical gowns and masks for Spain. Luxury Brand Kering expects a 15% decline compared to last year. Chanel, Hermès and Gucci among others also closed their production in Italy, Switzerland and France for now.
One of the biggest potential losses for them is the postponing of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the Euro 2020 Finals. Both huge sources of income and revenue for multiple industries but absolutely mandatory that they move their dates.
Impact Of Covid-19 On Shoe Industry
We already discussed why this outbreak is sad for the shoe industry. The finest calf comes from France and Germany too which can cause other issues. Undandy still feels the remnants after a very difficult quarter (Story here). Of course there are no Trunk Shows and the Shoegazing London Show moved to October instead.
As you can see the list is massive and it is not even close to complete. Retailers such as Pediwear and A fine pair of shoes continue to sell online but all physical stores are closed. I don’t think there is much more to say here as I got really depressed looking at the news. We don’t know how long this will last, but we can all stay together and positive.
Will The Industry Recover?
Of course it will. This was just a massive indicator that everything is fragile and the world economy is not ready for this. However when we get vaccines and the situation stabilizes and people start to get their jobs back it will slowly return to normal.
It is certain however that for the next time something happens companies will try to prepare better. The landscape of fashion and shoes will change fundamentally. I believe many companies will shift production to other countries and invest heavily in the digital age. Hopefully governments will also aid companies by tax-relief, covering salaries or giving low interest loans.
Time will tell but a boom always follows a recession.
What Should You Do?
First of all there is no need for panic. Stop reading the rubbish stories of the media that clickbait you and want to take advantage of the situation and sell. “Expert said that, expert said this”.
Don’t panic, keep clean and wash your hands well. Avoid contact with sick people and limit going out for a bit unless necessary. Feeling sick or showing potential symptoms? Call a health professional. We will get through this.
Support Local & Small Businesses
For those of you that lost jobs or face uncertainty, take care of yourself and your families first. Priority number one. If however you are still ok, please consider supporting small and local businesses at these times of dire need. The big companies will survive no matter what. But purchasing a shoe from a small retailer instead of Nordstrom might mean they can pay their rent.
The truth is that luxury shoes are not an essential commodity during this challenging period of uncertainty. This industry will hurt the most and the Covid-19 impact really shows its teeth.