The reports have come, coronavirus is negatively affecting several industries and the fashion industry is a part of it. The immediate impact coronavirus has had in the fashion industry is the cancellation of fashion shows in Asia and Europe. Also, many other fashion shows have been postponed from the spring to June.
The heavier toll that the virus outbreak has taken on the fashion industry is in the manufacturing domain. China, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, is one of the prime manufacturing regions of many fashion companies (including some of the top ones). In fact, the country manufactures more than a third of global clothing and textiles. From fast-fashion brands like Zara and H&M to luxury labels such as Armani and Prada, many leading fashion brands have their manufacturing units in China.
Due to the virus outbreak, many textile and clothing manufacturing units in China have been temporarily shut down. The biggest problem is, it’s still unclear as of now as to when will they get opened.
This, in turn, has made it challenging for fashion companies to strategise and maintain their supply chain flow. As such, medium and large-sized fashion companies may face problems updating and restocking their inventory. For example, several fashion companies are facing challenges in readying and launching their summer collections.
The delay in summer collection launches is predicted to take a toll on online fashion aggregator service providers as well. Fashion companies that have cut-and-sew factories also lie in the danger zone. This is because once the factories run out of raw materials, they need to source from textile manufacturers. And given the virus outbreak-related hampered flow of textile imports and exports, sourcing textile overseas may be challenging.