Informa today hosted the first of a series of webinars for small business fashion retailers who now have to cope with the repercussions of COVID19, thanks to stay at home orders, non-essential businesses ordered to close, and more than 3 million filing for unemployment.
In this conference call for the fashion industry, speakers included Mark Weiss of Management One, Gary Wassner of Hilldun, Mark Beckham of CFDA, and Karen Giberson of the Accessories Council, all informing clothing and accessory vendors to take advantage of all possible options to stay afloat, and keep the lines of communication open.
Vendors now more than ever need to utilize all their digital resources like their brand websites and social media pages, jumping in the pool of operating as an online-only retailer which has been the push slowly but surely for quite sometime like Macy’s has geared toward in the last few years.
Clothing vendors big and small need to not forgo the current season were in and just focus on next season when things are said to go back to normal, vendors and retailers need to communicate on a regular basis to focus on what clothing and accessories can be ready to sell now once the COVID19 bans are lifted, be ready to promote the time of season were in once life picks up again.
The webinar also noted that fashion weeks in places like Paris and Milan have been postponed due to COVID19, and have not announced when and if these events will be postponed.
Informa also put webinar participants on notice that the men’s trade show normally scheduled in July may be postponed or cancelled, but Informa officials are hoping the July event can still go on, in spite of the fact the Javits Center is currently operating as a hospital for COVID19.
Even though the webinar admits they’re not too sure on when things will absolutely go back to normal, they did encourage vendors and retailers take advantage of government programs providing grants and loans on the condition they continue to pay their employees for a number of weeks under furlough.
It’s also stressed that vendors and retailers keep the lines of communication open with their creditors, utilities, and landlords on their current situation, not just walk away from their debts and close up shop, so they’re in good standing and well positioned to open up their doors again once the coronavirus crisis is over.