Top stories on just-style in March were unsurprisingly dominated by the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on the global apparel industry and its supply chain. We take a look at how retail and fashion companies and their supply chains might fare coming out of the crisis, and industry efforts to address the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). The list also includes an interview with Stanley Szeto, executive chairman of fashion supply chain manager Lever Style, and a US$930.7m bid to privatise Li & Fung.
1. Coronavirus disruption – How will fashion companies emerge? How retail and fashion companies and their supply chains might fare coming out of the coronavirus crisis – and possible longer-term impacts on social trends and behaviour.
2. Bangladesh factories told to operate despite lockdown Bangladesh has ordered thousands of clothing factories to continue production throughout a 10-day countrywide lockdown in force since Thursday (26 March) aimed at slowing the spread of new coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
3. Primark cancels all orders as UK stores close UK value fashion retailer Primark has cancelled all orders with its suppliers and closed all of its stores – including the 189 it operates in the UK – as countries around the world go into lockdown to try to halt the spread of coronavirus.
4. Global retail closures as coronavirus spreads – Update A raft of apparel and footwear brands and retailers including Next Plc, Primark, H&M, Nike and Gap Inc, are temporarily closing stores and suspending online operations as part of efforts to help limit the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
5. Workers in Cambodia and Myanmar feel coronavirus fall-out Workers in Cambodia and Myanmar are among the hardest hit by fall-out from the global coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, according to unions who are urging measures to protect workers.
6. Italy’s clothing sector grapples fallout from Covid-19 While clothing manufacturers in Italy have not been told to close outright in the country’s bid to fight the Covid-19 virus, many have been subject to major disruption during this health emergency.
7. Sourcing in an epidemic requires resilience not re-shoring The media is currently awash with predictions that the Covid-19 outbreak marks the end of multinational sourcing. Professional clothing buyers certainly need to review how they source – but it’s resilience, not re-shoring, they should be seeking.
8. M&S cuts clothing orders by GBP100m as Covid-19 hits sales Marks & Spencer (M&S) has warned trading over the next nine to 12 months in its clothing and homewares business is likely to be severely impacted by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and that it is “taking all possible steps” to defer supply ahead of what it expects to be a prolonged downturn in demand.
9. Lever Style realigns as the “go-to supplier” for digital brands Fuelled by new investment from its recent listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, fashion supply chain manager Lever Style is realigning its business model to be the product engine for rising e-commerce brands – as executive chairman Stanley Szeto explains.
10. Fashion industry efforts to address global PPE shortages Retailers H&M, Canada Goose, Nike Inc and luxury firms including Kering are among those mobilising their production facilities and supply chains to help address the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks and hospital gowns amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
11. Stretchline elastics meet demand for medical face masks Best-known as one of the world’s leading suppliers of narrow fabrics and elastics for end-uses including lingerie, intimate apparel, sports and activewear, Stretchline is joining the fight against coronavirus by switching its production to elastics that can be used in medical face masks.
12. Rise in payment delays weighs on Bangladesh factories Garment manufacturers in Bangladesh are seeing an influx of requests for payment delays from buyers as a result of the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak.
13. Apparel events postponed and cancelled by coronavirus – Update The organisers of Techtextil North America and Texprocess Americas have rescheduled an initial postponement of the co-located events from December to 1-3 October.
14. Timeline – How coronavirus is impacting the global apparel industry – FREE TO READ Since the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak began in China at the end of 2019, its impact has been felt across the global apparel and textile sector. just-style’s timeline shows how the pandemic is evolving – and will be updated as developments unfold.
15. Why Bangladesh garment sector needs global support Bangladesh’s apparel industry is in gridlock, with millions of jobs at risk as orders are frozen or cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic. Brands do not want to lose their supply chains and factories do not want to lay off workers – but without short-term financial support, that is likely to be the next step.
16. Clothing brands tangled in Uyghur forced labour claims A new study from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has alleged more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang between 2017-19 to work in factories including ones making garments and footwear.
17. How Asia supplier countries are responding to coronavirus Garment workers in global supply chains are especially exposed to risks linked to the global Covid-19 crisis, but how are the governments in key production countries in Asia responding?
18. Founding family bids US$930m to privatise Li & Fung Global sourcing and logistics giant Li & Fung has received an offer worth US$930.7m to take the company private by a group controlled by the founding Fung family. The move comes as the Hong-Kong based supply chain solutions provider is being buffeted by the US-China trade war and the global coronavirus pandemic.
19. Central America factories shutter as virus dents demand Mexican and Central American garment factories are shutting down as regional governments respond to the coronavirus outbreak and US demand slumps as retailers face widespread shutdowns to contain the global health emergency.
20. FREE Covid-19 Executive Briefing report The coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is incredibly fast-moving, uncertain and complex – with potentially profound and long-term impacts on a global, cross-industry scale. A new, free Covid-19 Executive Briefing report can help you navigate the challenges.