FASHION INDUSTRY IN THE TIMES OF COVID-19
We’re totally aware of this fact that Covid-19 has not only affected the people but also businesses including fashion. India’s fashion industry market was in an upward direction until Covid-19 happened. Closing the physical stores as the government advises people to avoid malls & local markets have undoubtedly turned the tables other way around in this industry as well.
Most of India’s fashion designers run small design studios and this outbreak has left those unguarded. Their inventory levels are high and sales have ground to a halt. After this, their raw material producers, weavers, dyers and tailors are at risk as most of them are migrants and employed on a pre-order basis. It is said that even after shut down gets over, people will hesitate to go out and shop in bustling markets and hence the fashion brands will have to reconsider new strategies to save their businesses
Brands would be required to focus on e-tailing, through their e-commerce website, along with their selective brick-and-mortar presence. There is a strong need for designer brands to build a robust online strategy including presence in the marketplaces or their own online platform to sell their products. They will be required to work better with their social media channels including Instagram to strengthen their presence. This will surely let these brands stay immune to another wave of this pandemic if it happens. Many apparel companies may already have started thinking to rework on the retail strategy and shift towards online selling.
Offering steep discounts (from 60% to 80%) to their customers, could be another way to push online sales and get hold of old & new clientele from the start.
The Coronavirus outbreak has changed our ways of life in manners that make purchasing new apparels especially immaterial. Customers are making purchases of only those things that matter and better their livelihoods with less experimentation and that makes us believe launching affordable and evergreen fashion collections is the need of the hour. This could be a way to extend the lifeline of the inventory as well. Moreover, the festive season and marriages are lined up in 6 months from now, designers can think about coming up with collections with lower price points that can be sold in both the stores and online.
The industry players are required to work together for its betterment, this may include honouring payments for late deliveries, pushing back the seasonal calendar to delay markdowns and reducing the cut they take from designer brand sales. Helping each other in these tough times is what all the players need to do!
A few analysts believe that this pandemic is about to become the reason for the transformation of the fashion landscape in India. We are sure the fashion business will bounce back and when it occurs, this industry may have developed for the great.