High-end designer apparel, footwear likely to suffer worst hit of COVID-19
BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 30
High-end designer apparel and footwear is likely to be the worst hit of COVID-19, given its heavy reliance on foreign spend, Head of Fashion Research at Euromonitor International Jorge Martin said, Trend reports.
Martin made the statement during a 'Fashion in Light of COVID-19' webinar, held by Euromonitor.
Marguerite Lerolland, Research Manager Euromonitor International, Jorge Martin Head of Fashion Research Euromonitor International, Arthur Zaczkiewicz Executive Director, Strategic Content Development Woman's Wear Daily (WWD) took part in the webinar.
As noted during the webinar, global sales of apparel and footwear are declining by 12 percent in 2020, when they were forecast to grow by 2 percent before the pandemic hit.
“COVID-19 is having a strong impact across all references, but high-end designer apparel and footwear is likely to be the worst hit, given its heavy reliance on foreign spend. On the other hand, more essential (and affordable) references such as loungewear are set to benefit, given consumers spending longer hours at home, and their wider availability across the very few retail outlets in operation while lockdown measures are in place (i.e. modern grocery retailers such as hypermarkets),” Martin said.
Webinar experts noted that as of early April, fashion retail has mostly reopened in China, but it is recording 50 percent lower traffic than usual as consumers keep their purse strings tight or shop online.
In turn, average spend per capita on apparel and footwear in New York City in 2019 was $1,905, the highest globally.
“Yet, it is expected to post a decline in 2020, for the first time since 2008,” the experts noted during the webinar.
Talking countries more likely to suffer the worst hit, experts said that Vietnam and Bangladesh are among the most exposed markets to cancellations from global players, with 97 percent and 71 percent of apparel manufacturing exported abroad.
“While the pandemic will certainly put many players out of business, it will also accelerate much needed innovation, digitalization and sensible cadence of production and consumption,” the experts said.
The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019.
Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.