Coronavirus & the Fashion Industry

By  | 

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

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

Moody’s reduced its forecast for the retail industry as “performance takes a dive,” according to an emailed report issued Thursday by the ratings agency. Companies in the industry remain under “extreme stress” related to COVID-19 and the ensuing closures, increased costs and other pressures, Moody’s analysts said.

Back-to-school delays, virtual classes could deepen pain for some retailers, and be windfall for others

This school year, retailers may have only one certainty to count on: Kids are growing and that’ll drive some demand for new clothes. Otherwise, retailers and industry watchers are unsure of what to expect as the pandemic delays the first day of school, leads to staggered schedules or prompts plans for virtual learning across the U.S.

Walmart Is Eliminating Hundreds of Corporate Jobs

(Bloomberg) — Walmart Inc. might be one of the few big winners in the pandemic, having posted surging sales month after month, but that isn’t stopping the company from tightening its belt.The world’s biggest retailer has laid off hundreds of workers in units including store planning, logistics, merchandising

Tailored Brands says bankruptcy ‘likely’

Tailored Brands, citing “substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern,” said a bankruptcy filing is “likely” and could come as soon as its third quarter, which begins Sunday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company, which runs Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A.

All Van Heusen, IZOD stores are permanently closing

PVH Corp., the parent company of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and several other fashion brands, is preparing to shutter all 162 of its Heritage Brand stores across North America in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Heritage Brand includes IZOD and Van Heusen, of which there are currently eight joint storefronts in New Jersey.

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

Ann Taylor did not pass away. She was never a person and there is no funeral to attend. No need to send flowers, or even a condolence card – because Ann will continue “her” special role in the world of fashion.

Ann Taylor parent Ascena files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft, Ascena Retail Group, just became the latest retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, pushed to the brink during the coronavirus pandemic. With thousands of bricks-and-mortar stores at its heyday, Ascena was once the biggest clothing retailer for women in the country, having amassed a portfolio of well-known brands for various sizes and age groups.

Sephora to cut 117 jobs in restructuring

Sephora is cutting 117 full-time jobs, about 7% of its full-time corporate workforce, as part of a restructuring process, the company confirmed to Retail Dive on Monday. “A number” of those are corporate roles associated with Sephora’s J.C. Penney partnership “to reflect the JCPenney store base reductions,” a company spokesperson said.

The Next Phase of the Retail Apocalypse: Stores Reborn as E-Commerce Warehouses

When Litisha Thomas heard through the gossip mill that the shuttered Sam’s Club where she’d worked for 11 years might be reopening in her rural North Carolina hamlet, she immediately jumped on an internet job board to see if it was hiring. It was, but this wasn’t a conventional reopening.

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

Tailored Brands on Tuesday announced that it has identified up to 500 store locations for potential closure “over time” and will eliminate 20% of its corporate positions by the end of the fiscal second quarter, according to a company press release. CFO Jack Calandra will exit the company July 31.

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

Department store Belk last week “announced the elimination of a number of positions, primarily at our corporate office,” a company spokesperson told Retail Dive in an email. The retailer is “providing competitive severance packages and outplacement services to support those affected,” the spokesperson also said.

Lucky Brand and G-Star Raw File for Bankruptcy

The financial fallout of the pandemic has even established denim brands on shaky ground. Debt burden caused by recent challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, led to Lucky Brand announcing Friday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware.

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

Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corp., had a tough job before this year, steering a 1,900-store chain through a changing retail landscape. Starting in March, it became much more challenging.

Pandemic Dulls Allure Of Luxury Goods |

COVID-19 continues to take the shine off luxury goods. Despite some signs of improvement this month, LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods group, admitted that its brick-and-mortar sales were erased by lockdowns across Europe and the United States in recent months, and that an immediate turnaround was unlikely.

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

Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target Corp., had a tough job before this year, steering a 1,900-store chain through a changing retail landscape. Starting in March, it became much more challenging.

Nike anticipates layoffs as it accelerates digital strategy

In conjunction with its Consumer Direct Acceleration strategy, introduced on Thursday, Nike expects there to be a “net loss of jobs,” the company confirmed to Retail Dive via email. Complex first reported the news . Although the company reported a $790 million loss for Q4, a company spokesperson said the layoffs were not related to losses incurred by the pandemic.

Retailers Face a Data Deficit in the Wake of the Pandemic

Executive Summary 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

Macy’s on Thursday announced a massive out-of-court restructuring that entails cutting its corporate and management headcount by some 3,900 , along with staff reductions “across its stores portfolio, supply chain and customer support network, which it will adjust as sales recover.” The moves will produce some $630 million in annual savings, according to a company press release.

Retail foot traffic ticks up as states loosen rules: Unacast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 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.

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

Iconic American clothing seller J.Crew on Monday became the first nationwide retailer to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus crisis ravages the retail industry. The New York-based company – whose clothes were famously touted by Michelle Obama – is among several major retailers that have suffered while the pandemic forces stores closed and shut shoppers in their homes.

S&P: Pandemic ‘catastrophic’ for retail

With S&P Global forecasting nonessentialretail and restaurant sales to decline 30% this year, analysts with the ratings agency said in a new report that the COVID-19 pandemic has created “catastrophic” financial conditions for the sector .

Should Neiman Marcus Exist?

Known for his cinema verité explorations of American institutions, the documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman trained his camera on Dallas’s flagship Neiman Marcus location in 1982. To watch the resulting work, , now is to travel back to a far less troubled age for the retailer that for more than a century has sold the trappings of a luxurious lifestyle to Texans of means.

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

As it happens: We’re updating this article frequently, as new information emerges about the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain workers around the world, and adding new fundraising appeals to help support workers. Click here for the latest updates. As the world faces this pandemic in unified isolation, we at Fashion Revolution are focusing on…

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

As Fashion Revolution Week kicks off with the publishing of their fifth Fashion Transparency Index, part 3 in this industry insiders series examines how brands, manufacturers and thought-leaders are analysing current metrics and adapting sustainability and climate change initiatives in the face of COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic will likely leave a lasting legacy on retail: Fewer department stores

America’s department stores are on a sinking ship, racing for a lifeboat that might not be big enough for all of them. For J.C. Penney, the bankruptcy clock is ticking after it skipped a mid-April interest payment. Its turnaround plans have been sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the closure of all of its stores.

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

(Reuters) – 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.

Retailers are begging for the government’s help – but Treasury might not listen

Retail is reeling, as stores shutter and thousands of people lose their jobs while the coronavirus spreads. Now, the Treasury Department must decide whether the risk of the industry toppling is worth putting taxpayer money where many others would not.

Coronavirus Has Shut Stores, and Retailers Are Running Out of Time

First, the store doors shut. Now, the walls are closing in. Retailers have furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers, cut executive pay and stopped paying rent, all to conserve cash. For the most indebted retailers, particularly those already struggling before the crisis began, those measures may not be enough.

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

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on cities around the world, Tapestry is extending its store closures across North America and Europe – but its operations in China are back up and running.

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

At this time of reflection, we can pause and consider the systems within which we work, and see them breaking down around us. The fashion industry’s predictive, seasonal systems have long been labelled out-of-date, broken and wasteful, with the consequences piling up in landfills around the world.

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

As operator of one of the country’s biggest liquidators, Bryant Riley has profited from what’s been called the retail apocalypse – the destruction of shops and big chains largely because of competition from online upstarts.

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

Last week, Urban Outfitters said publicly what many retailers are discussing in private: that it won’t be paying rent. In the middle of a list of financial measures Urban said it was taking while its stores are closed, the apparel seller included the suspension of rent payments.​ The retailer followed the Cheesecake Factory in doing so.

Macy’s is the first of what could be a retail and energy purge from the S&P 500

Macy’s is being dropped from the S&P 500, and in a sign of how far the fortunes of retail have fallen, it is being banished all the way down to the small-cap S&P 600, skipping the mid-cap S&P 400. It will likely not be the last company to suffer such humiliation amid coronavirus-related shutdowns.

Fashion Industry Shops for Help in the Face of Coronavirus

NEW YORK – New York City is home to more fashion designers and retailers than any other city in America. More than 900 have their headquarters here, employing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. So, it’s no surprise that closures due to coronavirus and stay-at-home orders have hit the fashion industry hard.

US weekly jobless claims double to 6.6 million

The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance skyrocketed last week as more than 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That brings to 10 million the total Americans who filed over the past two weeks.

Small-business owners face tough decisions as they wait for government loans to arrive

Jeanie Wright was planning for a year of major growth in 2020 with her confection business, Alaskan Sweet Thing’s. The company makes gourmet taffy, popcorn, fudge and more from glacier water, selling online and at its retail location. A big part of her business comes from tourists traveling to Alaska, as the state has become a major cruise destination.

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

A growing number of CFOs expect to change the breadth of their supply chains as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to 50 CFOs, mainly from U.S. Fortune 1,000 companies, surveyed by PwC. Supply chain issues remain a top-three concern for roughly one-third of the CFOs in PwC’s ongoing survey.

US mall owner Taubman is telling tenants they must pay rent amid coronavirus

U.S. mall owner Taubman is telling its tenants that they must pay rent amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a memo dated March 25, which was obtained by CNBC, the real estate investment trust said it still has its own obligations to meet – such as paying lenders on mortgages and paying for utilities.

15K stores could permanently close in 2020, Coresight says

More than 15,000 stores could shutter in 2020, far surpassing 2019’s record 9,548 closures, according to an emailed report from Coresight Research . Coresight analysts also anticipate more retailers will file for bankruptcy this year, and that more companies could end up liquidating entirely in Chapter 7 .

In the U.S., Luxury Brands Board Up the Store

Around the world, gilded retailers have been on lockdown in recent weeks. In America, many are also barricading their doors. A boarded up Louis Vuitton store during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Soho. Credit… Haruka Sakaguchi for The New York Times In Shanghai, day-to-day life for many luxury retailers has started – slowly – returning to normal.

America’s department stores can make it as much as 8 months with closed stores before liquidity troubles mount, analyst says

With stores temporarily shut due to the coronavirus pandemic – and a slim-to-zero chance of opening in the near future – America’s department stores are facing a cash crunch. Department store chains have enough liquidityto make it about five to eight months, with their stores sitting dark, in this coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis released Friday by Cowen & Co.

Fashion and luxury face $600 billion decline in sales

Consulting firm BCG has revised its initial estimates and expects a drop in luxury sales between $85 and $120 billion in 2020, up from its first $40 billion forecast. China is showing positive signs of recovery, but domestic demand might not be matched by supply as luxury production remains on lockdown in Europe.

Is Anyone Still Shopping for Clothes During the Coronavirus?

IT WAS JUST five months ago that Adsum, a five-year-old Brooklyn clothing label, opened up a shop in the borough’s bustling Williamsburg neighborhood. Yet as of Monday, March 16, the store has been closed. Shutting down is “going to be crushing,” said co-founder Pete Macnee in an interview a day after he and his partners made the decision to close its physical storefront.

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

US factories that usually mass produce hoodies and T-shirts are being retooled to make face masks as chief executives in the clothing industry try to alleviate shortages of equipment to combat coronavirus.

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

Amid what’s perhaps the worst crisis this industry has seen, apparel and footwear’s burden is falling hard on the supply chain partners that support it. As retailers and brands grapple with the unprecedented reality of near zero revenue, they must look for all means possible to stay liquid.

How retailers stay afloat during unprecedented mass closures

To state the obvious: American retail as we know it has never gone through an event like this, not at this scale or magnitude. That means the playbook is being written on the fly. Even companies like J.C.

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