Coronavirus & the Fashion Industry

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We will keep a running list of articles explaining how the Coronavirus is impacting the fashion industry in this spot.

Jobless Claims Are Staying Stubbornly High – Here’s Why Things Could Get Worse for Retail

Jobless claims remained higher than expected as COVID continues to impact businesses across the U.S. Retail could be especially hard hit.

American Eagle to close up to 50 stores this year, eyes hundreds more

The closures will hit the retailer’s namesake brand, while the Aerie lingerie business and new activewear brand “Offline” are poised for growth.

The Two Men Buying Your Favorite Retailers (Published 2020)

Jamie Salter and David Simon, one a licensing expert and the other a mall operator, are reshaping the shopping landscape by acquiring bankrupt brands like Brooks Brothers and Forever 21.

NRF: Pandemic remains a ‘shock’ for small businesses

The negative impact of COVID-19 is still being widely felt by small businesses as stimulus measures run out and the virus continues its spread.

Retail profits won’t rebound until 2022 at the earliest, Moody’s says

Analysts with the ratings agency expect operating profit in the industry to take a dip of up to 30% this year, and things are even worse in some sectors.

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Tailored Brands says bankruptcy ‘likely’

A filing could come as early as the next quarter, which starts Sunday. The retailer warned it could default on its debt and may not be able to pay rent.

All Van Heusen, IZOD stores are permanently closing

The stores, including eight in New Jersey, are expected to close by late 2021

No Obituary Needed – Iconic Ann Taylor Files For Bankruptcy As Feds Ignore Retail

The distressed list of retailers keeps getting longer as Washington politicians continue to ignore the dire needs of the industry.

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America Went Shopping For Clothes Again In June

U.S. stores and restaurants got a boost in June as retail sales jumped 7.5%. Spending on clothes doubled. But this was before a new surge in the coronavirus prompted renewed shutdowns in some states.

Sephora to cut 117 jobs in restructuring

Some of the roles come from its J.C. Penney partnership as the pandemic pushed the beauty retailer to accelerate a review of its corporate structure.

Retailers are canceling coronavirus hazard pay. That’s a mistake | CNN Business

In March, as coronavirus cases started to rise and governors issued stay-at-home orders, major retailers took a cue from a decades-old practice used in the military.

REI Faces Staff Backlash Over Response to Covid-19 Cases (Published 2020)

The co-op has raced to respond to criticism from store workers about how it has handled coronavirus cases at reopened locations.

Tailored Brands to close up to 500 stores, slash corporate workforce 20%

The Men’s Wearhouse owner also announced the departure of its CFO and the creation of a new chief restructuring officer role.

Stores focus on cleaning to get shoppers back to spending

NEW YORK (AP) – Forget about making shopping fun. As clothing retailers and others try to stay viable during the coronavirus pandemic, they’re hoping steps like cleaning during store hours, offering hand sanitizer and other safety measures will bring in customers to spend.

Belk furloughs end in unspecified number of layoffs, mostly at HQ

A spokesperson said the company’s moves to cope with the pandemic have been “some of the most difficult decisions of its 130-year history.”

Lucky Brand and G-Star Raw File for Bankruptcy

Denim brands Lucky Brand and G-Star Raw filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid financial fallout forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Retailers are holding 2020 fashion for 2021 to avoid discounts

What do you do with a season worth of unsold clothing?

Target CEO Discusses How Protests and the COVID-19 Pandemic Are Changing Retail

From donating $10M to various organizations to establishing an internal task force on racial equality, Target is driving change amid the protests and the pandemic.

Pandemic Continues To Dull Allure Of Luxury Goods

COVID-19 continues to take the shine off luxury goods, as seen by LVMH and Chanel, whose brick-and-mortar sales were erased by global lockdowns.

The dead, dying & digitally dominant

This week marked the reopening of Malls in New Jersey. As a self proclaimed “Mall-Rat”, I promised myself I would muster the courage to be there day one, to see the return of Brick and Mortar commerce and do some channel checking.

Target CEO Discusses How Protests and the COVID-19 Pandemic Are Changing Retail

From donating $10M to various organizations to establishing an internal task force on racial equality, Target is driving change amid the protests and the pandemic.

These mall staples announced thousands of store closures in June | CNN Business

Retailers including JCPenney, GNC, and Signet Jewelers are closing thousands of locations in June as shoppers shift their behaviors and the coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple their bottom line.

Nike anticipates layoffs as it accelerates digital strategy

The job cuts are not related to losses incurred by the pandemic, a company spokesperson said, and savings will be reinvested in the retailer’s priorities.

Retailers Face a Data Deficit in the Wake of the Pandemic

The change in consumer behavior caused by Covid-19 has created an unexpected problem: an information deficit, as data from before the crisis can’t effectively predict new trends. In other words, the essential ingredient for retail customer loyalty programs, AI-driven product recommendations, and a wide array of critical business decisions now has a quality issue.

Macy’s slashes workforce by nearly 4K corporate employees

“We know that we will be a smaller company for the foreseeable future,” CEO Jeff Gennette said as the retailer also cut store staff, supply chain and customer support.

Retail foot traffic ticks up as states loosen rules: Unacast

Foot traffic to U.S. retail locations ticked up last week as more states relaxed restrictions imposed to fight the spread of the coronavirus, according to cellphone tracking information provided by data firm Unacast.

Retail jobs fall by 2.1M in April

Also alarming for retailers is the government’s report Friday that overall unemployment soared to 14.7%, a blow to already wary consumers.

How luxury fashion shopping habits are shifting during the coronavirus pandemic

Instead of a preview of next season’s trends, Moda Operandi’s latest Runway Report examines how fundamental shifts in home life, leisure, and work caused by COVID-19 have impacted luxury fashion.

J.Crew files for bankruptcy as coronavirus slams retailers

The New York-based company – whose clothes were famously touted by Michelle Obama – is among several major retailers that have suffered amid the pandemic.

S&P: Pandemic ‘catastrophic’ for retail

Analysts write that the industry is “squarely in the crosshairs” of the current crisis, with even strong players like TJX and Ross under financial pressure.

Should Neiman Marcus Exist?

The inside story of the Dallas-born luxury retailer’s struggle to remain relevant-and solvent.

The impact of COVID-19 on the people who make our clothes

We love fashion, but we don’t want our clothes to come at the cost of people or our planet.

Social Sustainability, Overstock And ‘Greenwashing’: How COVID-19 Is Changing The Fashion Industry

The third in a series of Industry Insider articles, this piece reviews the current sustainability and climate change planning and adaption of brands, manufacturers and thought-leaders.

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Exclusive: Neiman Marcus to file for bankruptcy as soon as this week – sources

Neiman Marcus Group is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection as soon as this week, becoming the first major U.S. department store operator to succumb to the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, people familiar with the matter said.

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Tapestry Extends Store Closures in US and Europe as China Business Picks Back Up

Tapestry – parent to Coach and Kate Spade – extends its store closures in the US and Europe, while China operations are back up and running.

Virtual Catwalks And Digital Fashion: How COVID-19 Is Changing The Fashion Industry

How the fashion industry is changing during mass quarantine, slashed revenues and very public scrutiny over how brands are responding to the coronavirus crisis.

The Indian fashion industry’s fight against Covid-19

Sales have come to a halt and India’s textile workers face wage loss. The industry is organising for government relief.

Retail thought it was facing the apocalypse. Then came the coronavirus

The rise of online shopping forced thousands of stores to close in the last decade, but the fallout from COVID-19 could put many more out of business.

To pay or not to pay: Retailers are making tough decisions on rent and other bills

The opening salvos have been fired in a “showdown” between tenants and landlords as retailers try to preserve cash amid mass closures.

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Fashion Industry Shops for Help in the Face of Coronavirus

Closures due to coronavirus and stay-at-home orders have hit the fashion industry hard.

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PwC: Supply chains will broaden, diversify in the wake of coronavirus

Top finance executives shift the conversation from meeting immediate needs to what supply chains should look like long-term.

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15K stores could permanently close in 2020, Coresight says

As the coronavirus pandemic brings a “sharp shock” to retail and triggers bankruptcies, closures this year could explode past the record set in 2019.

L.A. Pottery Barn Boards Up Its Windows, Fears of Break-Ins & Looting

Pottery Barn seems to be anticipating the worst out of people with a move like this.

In the U.S., Luxury Brands Board Up the Store (Published 2020)

Around the world, gilded retailers have been on lockdown in recent weeks. In America, many are also barricading their doors.

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Fashion and luxury face $600 billion decline in sales

Analysts are cautiously optimistic on China’s recovery, but brands might not be ready to match demand with new stock.

Fashion labels cancel orders during coronavirus, garment workers go unpaid

A report released by the director of Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Global Workers’ Rights, says the coronavirus crisis has resulted in millions of factory workers being sent home.

US factories retool from hoodies to face masks to fight coronavirus

Group of supply chains co-ordinates in attempt to alleviate shortages

Fashion Brands Risk Destroying Factory “Partners”-and Their Own Goodwill

Sourcing Journal president Edward Hertzman says retailers cancelling orders in Bangladesh are jeopardizing the future of fashion.

How retailers stay afloat during unprecedented mass closures

Around 100 retailers have closed stores as the country fights a pandemic. Now plans are going out the window and profits are taking a back seat.

What Does the $2 Trillion Aid Deal Mean for the Fashion Industry?

In Washington DC today, the Senate moved towards a vote on the coronavirus rescue package. At $2 trillion, it’s the largest aid deal in U.S. history, and would send direct payments to taxpayers, authorize loans to businesses, and provide relief to hospitals reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The subtle ways the coronavirus crisis may change how we dress

The way we dress is closely pegged to how we live. As Covid-19 alters day-to-day life for millions, it may also leave its mark on the clothes we wear.

Coronavirus could cause a record 15,000 stores to close in 2020

The widening coronavirus pandemic could permanently shutter 15,000 stores across the U.S., according to a new analysis. That would top the previous high for retail industry closures set last year, when more than 9,500 stores shut their doors.

How small retailers are coping with the pandemic

Jennifer Rockwell was working in her secondhand apparel shop in downtown Portland, Maine, last week, scrambling to figure out how she could sell online after closing down just days before. The store, Material Objects, is all set for the spring fashion season and normally bustling with shoppers who come in frequently to discover her most recent finds.

Fashion influencers are rethinking their curated aesthetics because they can’t leave their houses

Elizabeth Savetsky, an influencer who lives in New York, has kept her Instagram feed pristine up until now. In every past photo, she wears an enviable outfit with perfectly done hair and, occasionally, her smiling, tall plastic surgeon husband. They’re photos that make people wish they could live in her shoes.

‘Our Industry Will Fail’: Retail Leaders Ask for Emergency Aid

Over the past five days, executives from the largest American clothing brands and department stores have been engaged in urgent late-night phone calls and marathon video conferences in which they game out scenarios for their future in a world with a coronavirus pandemic.

The CFDA and Retail Industry Trade Groups Send Letter to the White House Calling for Support Amidst the Coronavirus Crisis

As the coronavirus pandemic has taken hold of the U.S. over the last week, designers have been outspoken about the challenges facing the fashion industry in this crisis. Citing impending cash flow issues for brands up and down the price spectrum Prabal Gurung told Vogue that “this situation will not be fixed by a sale.”

The Fashion Industry is Now Producing Masks and Other Necessities in Bulk to Combat COVID-19

The rapid spread of COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge to people across the globe. Along with its tragic human toll, the virus has provoked mass panic, sending the markets tumbling to historic lows and causing dramatic shortages in products even tangentially related to the outbreak.

Should you still be renting clothing amid COVID-19?

Is it safe to use the service as the world responds to the pandemic? The global coronavirus crisis has directly affected many industries, and some of fashion’s go-to rental-clothing services are being examined through a closer lens.

New York Gov. Cuomo orders 100% of non-essential businesses to work from home

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered non-essential businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home to try to contain the fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreak across the state. “This is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said Friday.

California governor issues statewide order to ‘stay at home’ effective Thursday evening

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued a statewide order for all resident to ‘stay at home’ amid a coronavirus outbreak. “We need to bend the curve in the state of California,” Governor Gavin Newsom said, as he announced a statewide order for Californians to stay home.

High street brands in fight for survival amid coronavirus fallout

Laura Ashley has collapsed into administration as other well-known high street brands warn of looming jobs cuts and closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Macy’s, Ugg, Crocs + More Fashion Stores Closing Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

From social distancing to scores of employees transitioning to working from home, the coronavirus crisis is changing our daily habits, including how we shop. To prevent further spreading of the disease, some fashion retailers are adopting precautionary measures early by closing their physical storefronts for the time being.

More than 30 major US retailers are temporarily closing stores in an unprecedented move to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Madewell In an email sent to shoppers on March 16, Madewell announced it would close all stores and cancel all in-store community events in the US through March 28. “We are thankful for our store teams and will continue to pay them through this period,” the email reads.

Coronavirus Resources for Retailers

Monday, March 16: President Trump released The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread. Philadelphia announced new restrictions on business activity, closing all but “essential commercial establishments.” Read more. NRF and RILA jointly sent a letter to leadership at the National Governors Association (NGA) and U.S.

Coronavirus May Kill These 4 Struggling Retailers | The Motley Fool

For a handful of retailers, the coronavirus has been a sales blessing — Costco, Walmart, Target, and Amazon have all seen customers flood their physical and digital stores as they stock up for what may be weeks or months.

The coronavirus is proving a catalyst for fashion companies to expedite long-term plans – Glossy

When the first flames of a trade war between the U.S. and China were stoked in the last two years, a number of brands and manufacturers began rethinking their major investment in China, citing the potentially prohibitive tariffs that might emerge.

Retail store closures in the US could explode because of the coronavirus

2019 brought with it record store closures in the retail industry in the U.S. 2020 looks like it is about to be a lot worse. With a coronavirus pandemic hitting many consumers across America, spurring them to stock up at the grocery store on essentials before they hole up at home to wait things out, many companies already struggling to keep their lights on could be forced to turn them off, for good.

Urban Outfitters, Nike, and 9 other major retailers are temporarily closing its stores in an unprecedented move to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Urban Outfitters announced on March 14 it will temporarily close all of its store locations “until further notice,” according to a notice posted on its website. The closures are effective beginning March 15, and employees at the company’s more than 200 stores in the US, Canada, and Europe will be paid for lost shifts.

Coronavirus Could Destroy These Dying Retailers | The Motley Fool

The novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in China is in the early stages of spreading in the U.S. There are now more than 200 confirmed cases in the U.S. and at least 12 people have died. Both numbers could rise rapidly in the coming days and weeks as the virus continues to spread.

Retail In The Age Of Coronavirus

Unprecedented. In my over three decades of covering and working in the retail industry, we have never seen anything like the impact of Coronavirus on the global retail scene. 9/11 temporarily ground business in the United States to a halt as fear and uncertainty gripped the country.

The impact of the coronavirus on retail

As with major weather events, retailers’ top priority as COVID-19 has spread globally in recent weeks is the health and safety of their workers and customers. Those concerns early in the year led Levi’s, and many other retailers, to shutter stores within China and restrict employee travel into and out of the country.

Coronavirus threatens US malls as nearly six in 10 shoppers plan to avoid such areas if the outbreak worsens, survey says

Nearly six in 10 people said they plan to avoid public areas such as shopping malls if the coronavirus outbreak worsens, according to a survey by Coresight Research. Restaurants, movie theaters, and sports events could also be impacted. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

How Coronavirus’ Effect on the Fashion Industry Reveals Flaws in the Global Economy

What’s happening to Italy’s fashion industry is likely a preview of the coronavirus’ impact on the global economy more broadly.

The Fashion World, Upended by Coronavirus

The growing coronavirus threat chased the luxury fashion world from Milan to Paris. A real crisis looms for designers, retailers and shoppers. PARIS – Twice a year, the luxury fashion houses of the world present their ready-to-wear clothing for the coming season.

For the fashion industry, the fallout from the coronavirus may be just beginning

It was an eery sight: On Monday, Giorgio Armani held its Milan Fashion Week show in a vacant theater, and at the end, Mr. Armani himself took a bow in front of rows of empty seats. The night before the show, it had become clear that coronavirus had hit Italy hard, with hundreds of new cases confirmed.

Coronavirus is throwing fashion’s supply chain into disarray

China’s outbreak of Coronavirus has fashion companies scrambling. The store closures and travel restrictions it’s causing are already putting a dent in sales inside and outside the country. Just as disruptive may be the impact the virus is having behind the scenes in global supply chains.

Chris Kidd is the owner of,,, and

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