Fashion Industry is experiencing Changes due to the Ongoing Pandemic
However, owing to the recent pandemic, the industry began bearing losses – in terms of sales numbers, consumer behavior, unemployment of craftsmen and more. Fashion retailers also seemed to be worried with the drop down in the sales figures, cancelled orders, shutting down of factories. This crisis is clearly affecting the industry and the consumers.
It doesn't end here. The covid-19 pandemic further exerts damaging impacts import and export of raw materials and readymade garments. It is believed that the pandemic has affected the majority of India's export market (the US and EU together constitute for approximately, 60 per cent of the total apparel exports from India in value terms), causing order cancellations/deferral of order leading to inventory build-up and expectation of slower realization of export receivables leading to higher working capital requirements. (source: retail4growth.com).
Also, exports of attires are sinking because of working capital issues and vagueness on the duties and incentives. The domestic consumption too has been severely hit. Along with established brands, start-ups in fashion too are suffering losses due to insufficient funding, lack of workers and the demand suddenly dropping down.
Some alterations that brands/retailers are looking forward to -
The 'Online' Wave
There has been a major shift in consumer behavior – from physical stores to online stores. It looks like retailers selling fashion online are emerging as the winners of the business crisis. While many of the stores have began resuming their operations, business in the stores has been hushed with dearth of customers. The inclination of consumers towards online shopping to minimize risk factors have led many retailers revamp their business models to boost their online presence. In a nutshell, a strong online visibility has been key to a brands' survival in a crisis-stricken market.
Thrive with Sustainability
The present market condition provides opportunities to retailers to reevaluate practices and hasten encouraging changes. With the industry coming to a standstill, there rises opportunities for retailers to rethink, reassess and come up with sustainable production processes. Amid such a global crisis, there are brands that are truly bringing in sustainability initiatives to retain their business growth and of course customers. During the crisis, many customers have shopped consciously keeping in mind the ethical aspects of their shopping experience.
Change in Fashion Trends
Shifts in trends is quite natural considering the new norms of social distancing and restrictions in travel. Designers need to think of new ways to create and exhibit their work. Brands and retailers too need to diversify their business models rather concepts based on the need of the hour. With a deteriorating condition, public gatherings and occasions is a distant dream and consumers will definitely opt for comfortable and breathable outfits. It goes without saying that the way we dress will undergo a major change during covid and more in a post-covid world.
The Future of Fashion Industry post Covid
Moving forward, it will be important for the fashion industry to check its pace, its purpose, the fashion agenda and inclinations. The prime focus of the brands and retailers should be on finding newer ways to reach out to the consumers and at the same time realign their business objectives to stay ahead. It is of extreme importance to win the confidence of customers by delivering them safe and timely fashion products with zero compromise of hygiene and quality. While many fashion brands have already been seen combating the covid challenge with unique ideas, it would be really interesting to see the entire industry come together as one and fight the war against the pandemic.