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The outbreak of COVID-19 made an enormous impact across various industries and the rapid spread of the COVID-19 has not spared the textile industry either.
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COVID-19 Impact on the Textile Industry in North America
To face the situation arising due to Coronavirus, several US retailers and apparel companies have taken measures including reducing store hours, encouraging customers for online shopping, closing select stores, restricting business travel and implementing work from home. Recently Gap Inc. reduced store hours across the United States and Canada from March 16. Furthermore, based on location, government guidance, and health authorities, the company has closed select stores besides enhancing continued pay policy. Similarly, Columbia Sportswear Company closed its retail stores and urged consumers to visit the respective brand e-commerce sites. Apparel companies such as Levi and Strauss & Co. temporarily closed its retail stores in the United States and Canada. Companies are ramping up digital resources and investing in digital media to drive awareness and promotion of technologies and innovations.
Denise Sakuma, Global RTW, and denim director stated that the Lycra company will remain fully operational in every major region of the world(North America, South America, EMEA, and Asia) and will fulfill orders and make shipments without any interruptions.
Effect of COVID-19 On Textile and Apparel Industry in Europe
Textile and apparel businesses are facing hard times due to COVID-19. Despite the headwinds, the industry is taking measures to cope with the pandemic. EURATEX is identifying options and working with its membership and the European Commission to find out solutions to increase the availability of protective masks in the EU.Luigi Lovato, CEO and founder of Elleti, Italy is stressing on reliable, efficient, sustainable and stress-tested supply chains for the success of brands.
Alberto De Conti, Hub 1922/Rudolf Group stated that the virus has affected the retail and wholesale sector massively. Hub 1922 has adopted new ways of working, based on technology. It has adopted B2B digital and communication channels with customers that would be beneficial to the environment as well whereas Andreas Lelsch, sales director Europe, Be Ma, Turkey is seeing an opportunity to bring customers who have problems with production in the far East and some delivery bottlenecks.
Effect of COVID-19 On Textile and Apparel Industry in the Asia Pacific Region
In India, the textile and clothing industry which employs over 105 million people and earns around US$ 40 billion, has come to a grinding halt due to the panic created by the outbreak of COVID-19. Post the coronavirus spread, the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry requested the government for a relief package for the textile and apparel sector whereas, in Bangladesh, most factories are facing production shortfalls and run the risk of the suspended production line that would lead to loss of income for the workforce. Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Denim expert, Bangladesh is pinning hope on Government support and partnership between retailers and manufacturers to withstand the unprecedented situation.
Although China’s supply chains are re-opening, declining supply orders from distributors and retailers in Europe and the US, turning out to be the biggest problem ever.
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Despite the Dire Situation, Manufacturers are Planning a Comeback
To jumpstart growth, the apparel industry is concentrating on loyal consumers who are most likely inundated with other brand offers. They are focusing on mapping strategies to create new growth avenues such as partnership and collaboration for long term benefits. Meanwhile for the short term, building an operating model around digital that could shift consumer shopping behavior that pushes more traffics and categories online.