The global COVID-19 crisis has resulted in several surprising turns over the past few weeks for fashion brands and retailers.
Ninety percent of Americans are on lock-down and are doing their best to stay home and social distance. Brick-and-mortar fashion brands and retail stores are also cooperating by temporarily closing their doors.
While this global pandemic requires abrupt changes to consumer social and shopping habits and a fresh and thoughtful approach to market and retail strategy from brands, it’s encouraging to see how retailers are pulling through.
This post will offer a little bit of what everyone in this industry currently needs: good news, inspiring stories, and free resources.
Fashion sales are starting to increase again
At the beginning of the pandemic, fashion retailers experienced a significant drop in traffic and sales. But, the overall state of the fashion world is now finally taking a turn for the better. Last week, the fashion sector saw a boost in traffic of 31%.
Additionally, transactions increased by 32% from the previous weeks, and brands are starting to see the same amount of sales since before the outbreak.
Research suggests that a renewed interest in fashion is growing globally, but especially in the United States, where retailers’ marketing efforts of offering massive discounts and special promotions are paying off big time.
Industry giants are using their factories to develop medical supplies
While it’s excellent news that players in the fashion industry are regaining their economic footing, it’s even more inspiring to see how fashion leaders are stepping up to the plate and responding to this crisis with enthusiasm and grace.
Brooks Brothers is also converting its North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New York factories, so they can start producing medical masks and surgical gowns. Brooks Brothers’ goal is to provide up to 150,000 masks per day and continue producing gowns for healthcare professionals. Gitman Bros. is also participating in the movement to support healthcare workers by making gowns instead of their beautiful men’s button-up shirts.
The production of pandemic materials doesn’t stop at making masks and gowns. LVMG, a company that typically manufactures luxury line perfumes, such as Givenchy and Guerlain, is also helping. LVMH will be converting three of its factories to produce hand sanitizer for French hospitals.
If there were ever a time to be proud to be part of the fashion industry, it’s undoubtedly now when leaders are showing their true and brilliant colors.
Grants for businesses
As a smaller fashion retailer, you may not have the capacity to mass-produce medical supplies like Gucci, Prada, and Brooks Brothers. In fact, even if overall industry sales have started to improve, you may not have yet seen an uptick in your brand’s sales.
The good news is companies that are in a more economically-sound position are aware of you and eager to lend a helping hand.
Here are some links to business grants and loans that can help your fashion brand during this challenging time:
- Fashion Manufacturing Initiative Grant Program – Fashion manufacturers in New York City are eligible to apply for the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) Grant Fund here.
- Tory Birch Foundation Fellows Program – This grant helps women with the finances, education, and business acumen needed to succeed in fashion.
- Facebook Small Business Grant – Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help businesses of all industries during this pandemic.
- Google’s 800+ Million Dollar Support Fund – Google is also extending support to businesses in the form of capital and ad credits.
Not only are private businesses offering support, but companies can also look to the SBA for information on COVID-19 relief loans and grants.
To do our part here at nuORDER, we are offering brands a complimentary version of our digital wholesale solution. We know NuORDER NOW will keep you connected with your buyers in a digital environment.