COVID-19 : Daily News for Fashion Executives

  • NEWS
  • 41 min read
  • 1 April 2020
COVID-19 : Daily News for Fashion Executives

During the crisis, RETVIEWS provides fashion brands with daily updates on the consequences of Coronavirus for their business.

Every day, you will find updates on Impacts on the Fashion Industry, Marketing & Communication Actions and Commercial Actions.



Wednesday 20th May
Reopenings for stores but will retailers be able to catch up the losses?

The British retailer French Connection warned that it could run out of cash in the next few months. The company is holding talks with ancestors in a bid to secure new funding after French connection said that it struggled to access government support scheme

The Kooples is eyeing for growth in the aftermath of the pandemic under a new management team, including recently appointed Artistic Director Tom Van Dorpe. Acquired last year by MF Brands Group, owner of Lacoste and Gant, the company is better placed than independent players to get through the crisis thanks to the backing of MF Brands group. Online selling has grown by 60% in April but it still does not catch up the loss made by the store closures ( stores represent around 80% share of business for the Kooples)

Urban outfitters Inc, owner of Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, reported its preliminary first-quarter financial results yesterday and announced a 32% decrease in sales due to the impact of store closures. The total retail segment of the group has declined by 28%, while its wholesale segment posted a 74% decrease

Italian label Elisabetta Franchi has published its consolidated results and confirmed the growth trend observed for the brand in the last three years. The brand recorded revenue of €120.4 million which represents a 4.7% increase compared to 2018 and an EBITDA of €23.5 million, up 5.2% over 2018. Even if the public listing of the brand on the Milan stock exchange has been put on hold due to the pandemic, the future of the brand is still bright

080 Barcelona Fashion will go digital and the event is postponed to September

Marquee brands buy back BCBG Max Azria and BCBGeneration licenses, following back Centric Brands’ bankruptcy filling. The idea of Marquee brands is to bring all its e-commerce operations in the house including all site designs and development, merchandising, content creation and customer engagement. In this way, the platform will serve as a pillar for the company’s growth and will support scaling by facilitating the addition of new businesses

A Common Thread has teamed up with the online fundraising platform Omaze for a campaign, named “Act for Good” , to raise more money for members of the CFDA impacted by the pandemic. Every week, a new experience will be announced and will feature fashion industry elites including Anna Wintour and Tom Ford

Reopening phase for VF Corp, owner of Tommy Hilfiger, Vans and Calvin Klein. The company will reopen approximately 180 company-operated stores across all brands in North America, along with 350 in Europe, 1000 in Asia, 75 in Australia and 4 in Brazil

As Canadian casualties from COVID-19 does not diminish, store closures have been prolonged and this led Reitmans to seek bankruptcy protection

Kohl’s Corp said that the pandemic would have material impacts in its results this year and has announced that it will remove 8 brands from its stores, including Jennifer Lopez, Juicy Couture and Popsugar, and warned for a remaining weak demand in women’s apparel

At home festival? Flop or genius idea as all the festivals have been cancelled? It is the idea that Levi’s still wanted to promote to celebrate its 501s days

Promod has started to fill for bankruptcy in Germany. The company has announced its strategy to focus on its domestic market activities, France

IKKS has appointed Ludovic Manzon, Ceo of Sloggi since 2016, Ceo of the French Group

Adolfo Dominguez has announced a new ERTE “before the drop in consumption”. This new ERTE will affect 896 of the company’s employees and will be activated between July 1 2020 and June 30 2021. Adolfo Dominguez will adapt the measures to the progress of his recovery plan

Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert has been appointed global creative director of Swarovski

Mark & Spencer has announced its new managing director for the clothing & home unit will take over sooner than expected. Richard Price will kick off his new position on July 6

Ted baker has confirmed that David Wolffe’s appointment as permanent CFO with immediate effect

Skims by Kim Kardashian has started to sell protective masks

Premium Swiss department store Jelmoli has appointed Mirjam Villoz as the new buyer for women’s fashion

The new face of Armani made to measure campaign for Spring/Summer 2020 has been revealed and it is the F1 driver Charles Leclerc that has been chosen



Monday 18th May
Despite the climate of uncertainty, brands continue to launch new collection and collabs

JC Penney, which has filed for bankruptcy on Friday, has now until July 15 to get out of bankruptcy proceedings. The department stores chain has reopened more than 800 stores but concerns remain as customers might be slow to return. If the group fails to reorganise, as Barneys New York Inc did during less-fraught times, JC Penney might go out of business for good

Piti Uomo is about to get revolutionised with not only its e-Pitti virtual trade show but also with the Pitti Connect platform. The platform will enable the exhibitors of all Pitti ( Uomo, Bimbo, Filati, Fragranze) to boost their visibility and activate commercial contracts so they can generate orders from June onwards. By doing so, Pitti will be able to reach buyers and retailers all around the world, even those who will not be able to travel fro Florence in September

Dior’s podcast series, Dior talks, took a new dimension on Friday with its newest episode featuring the house’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri

Even if Farfetch latest set of results, Q1 2020, demonstrated the strength of the platform model within the luxury industry, it remained loss-making during the period

Columbia Sportswear, Hudson’s Bay and Bal Harbour Shops are preparing to reopen  in the US

Japanese apparel maker, Renown, part of the Chinese fashion empire Shandong Ruyi has filed for bankruptcy with 13.9 billion yen ( $130 million) in debt making it the country’s highest-profile business to collapse amid COVID-19

Aeffe, the Italian fashion group owning Alberta Ferretti, Philosophy, Moschino and Pollino, has also reported suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. Its’ revenue went down 25.4% in Q1 compared to Q1 2019 and the EBITDA fell by 67.7%

Another collab for Uniqlo between Billie Eilish and Takashi Murakami

NafNaf, which was looking for potential buyers, has been offered two opportunities: one coming from the group Beaumanoir which aims for horizontal integration and another one coming from one of the long term suppliers of the brand, SY corporate, aiming then for more vertical integration. Beaumanoir’s offer would allow Nafnaf to benefit from synergies with Morgan but is quite disappointing in terms of staff retention ( around 200 would be kept among the 1170 people). On the other hand, SY corporate would allow a more vertical integration and reduce the costs of productions for NafNaf while keeping almost all the staff ( more than 900 among 1170)

Maison 123 will launch a new collection for the oceans’ protection. All the fabrics used are environmentally friendly and sustainable. On top of that, all the benefits will go to  STOP! Micro Waste organisation

Richmond revealed its year-round results and it was with a mix of good and bad news. The Luxury conglomerate reported a resurgent demand in China but also a drop in profit in the 12 months until March 31


Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

• H&M offered 20% off ( 30% in Italy) to its member this weekend on the whole collection


FRIDAY15th May
Despite the climate of uncertainty, brands continue to launch new collection and collabs

Germany: H&M offers now a new way of payment with Klarna “buy now, pay later”

Condé Nast has announced the layoff of 100 employees in an attempt to cut overhead costs. On top of that, the company will put 100 more on furlough

CEO and chairman of L Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret, stepped down yesterday from his position during the company’s annual shareholders meeting

Vogue, Amazon and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have teamed up to launch a digital storefront in order to support American designers. Launched through, the online store offers a variety of pieces from designers, including small and medium-sized CFDA members. This will create opportunities for the designers to leverage Amazon’s customer base and fulfilment network to boost sales during the pandemic

Despite strong growth in online selling, Nike warns of fourth-quarter that could be impacted by store closures across the globe. The impact could go from 5 to 40% reduction on year-to-year results

Following YSL’ s announcement, Valentino is also pulling out of Paris’ digital fashion week in July. The Italian house has announced that it will show its next men’s and womenswear collections in September and is preparing a special project for its haute couture offering in July

• Tapestry Inc., the owner of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, has started its reopening plan throughout Europe and North America

Havaianas opened a new page in its history and has launched its first ready-to-wear collection for 20202 spring-season

Hugo looks sporty for its new collab with Liam Payne collection

The Pension Protection Fund ( PPF) is reportedly looking for appointing a second administrator in order to oversee the ongoing investigation of Laura Ashley’s situation

Yves Saint Laurent organised its first “soirée virtuelle”, an exclusive Zoom party

The French brand Naf Naf, which has been looking for a new owner for a few months, seems to maybe have found its new buyout. The group Beaumanoir, which owns brands like Morgan and Cache Chache, is looking into the case. In 2007, when the founders of the brands were looking for potential buyers, the Beaumanoir group was already part of the potential buyer but the favour went to Vivarte group, which sold the brand 10 years after to the Chinese group La Chapelle

Spain: the Portuguese brand Parfois has started to reopen its stores. According to the government framework if phase 1, this allows the commercial reopening of establishment with less than 400 square meters and located outside shopping centres. As Parfois’s stores fit in the description, the brand has started to resume their activities normally, without an appointment, but with reduced hours. Along with protection and hygiene measures, such as the use of face masks and hydro alcoholic gel, Parfois has chosen, for the moment, not to allow product testing in its stores

Ba&sh launched its rental service with Les Cachotières. The brand has already shown its commitment towards a more sustainable fashion and responsible way of consuming with its second-hand system launched with Reflaunt and Arianee, and now is launching its rental service with which you can rent a specific dress or a whole outfit up to 12 days. Other features are in development such as being able to purchase the garment after the rental

• Imperial acquires the Swiss retailer Anouk

Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

The Kooples, Sandro, Maje and Ba&Sh continues their “private sales” with up to 50% discount on their Spring collection

Mango offers 30%off on minimum purchase of 120€ as “welcome back” gift until 24th May



The impacts on fashion consumers are coming

Tod’s first-quarter selling has dropped by almost 30% amid COVID-19. However, good news for the group is that selling was very strong in all regions at the beginning of the year, aka prior to the outbreak. The group will remain “very prudent” as chairman and CEO Diego Della Valle explained and will continue to control costs and limit inventories for the rest of the year

The British Fashion Council ( BFC) announced on Tuesday the names of the first 37 designer brands to receive financial support from its Covid-19 fund. Each of the designer brands will receive up to £50,000 from the fund along with mentoring from executives partnering with the BFC such as LVMH and Farfetch. The first 37 designers included David Koma, Phoebe English, Richard Quinn, Craig Green and Charles Jeffrey

Stores start to reopen around the world as pandemic measures ease. For instance, Fast retailing, parent company of Uniqlo, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Carles reopened several stores around the globe

Revolve reported a positive first quarter in terms of sales growth despite the pandemic. The group has reported a 6% increase in sales despite the negative impacts of the COVID-19 on global business, the economy and the consumer spending. However, Revolve Group’s quarterly net income went down by 16 per cent compared to last year period

Nike x Comme des Garçons Dunk Low shoes are finally launched today Thursday 14th May on Dover Street Market

In order to take into account the rise in the cost of raw materials that the crisis will generate, Chanel has announced that the luxury fashion house will increase the price of its handbags and small leather goods. The main idea for the brand is to stay in line with its commitment regarding price harmonisation.”The price adjustments only regard Chanel‘s iconic handbags, 11.12 and 2.55, as well as Boy, Gabrielle, Chanel 19 bags and certain small leather goods,” stated Chanel in an emailed statement to Reuters

France: Galeries Lafayette and Printemps will remain closed until 10th July due to governmental measures. Those measures include not allowing shopping mall bigger than 40,0000m2  to reopen in the Ile-de-France

Odlo has been bought by Monte Rosa Sports Holding


Fashion economy: two different speeds

H&M group is expanding online. The group is launching this week new online markets such as Lithuania but also Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria

Molly Bracken vs Chanel, the battle for “Gabrielle” label’s property rights went in favour of Molly Bracken

Valentino appointed Jacopo Venturini, a former executive of the Gucci house, as new CEO starting from June

Neiman Marcus’ creditors challenged the department store chain’s plan of reorganisation under bankruptcy by suggesting to either sell or a merger with its competitor Sacks Fifth Avenue. This would result in a better financial situation for the retailer than its original reorganisation plan

Arc’teryx, a Vancouver-based outdoor retailer, has appointed Adidas former senior global design director, Katie Becker, as the brand’s first creative vice-president. In her new role, Becker will lead the development of a creative strategy at Arc’teryx involving consumer touch-points and product focus areas in support of the brand’s global business initiatives

Tanya Taylor, New York City-based designer, has launched her first swimwear partnership and a capsule collection with swimwear and travel brand Summersalt. All articles of the collection offer innovative characteristics such as UPF 50+  protection and more sustainable fabrics, even after washing

Iconix Brand Group, the owner of brands including Umbro and Lee Cooper, announced a net loss of $21.5 million for the first quarter of 2020. The company’s total quarterly revenue decreased by 22% compared to last year, principally due to the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on business. A sharper declined was observed in the group’s menswear which decreased by 38% in revenue compared to last year

The Italian fashion group Salvatore Ferragamo said the group could not give any guidance on the expected sales for 2020 as the level of uncertainty caused by the pandemic is too high and that it has already led Ferragamo’s revenues to fall by nearly a third of its first-quarter

Icelandic designer, Yrurari, has found a creative way to encourage social distancing with “scary” masks. The designer stated that it was done in a “kind go joke approach as the materials used are not safe” but the “scary” mask would at least keep people away

L’Oréal has launched a €150 million programme of climate change initiatives and financial aid to support vulnerable women hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic

TM Lewin has sold to SCP Private Equity with the objective to use the brand as a starting point for a portfolio of typical British brands that will sell internationally

Alibaba launched Luxury Soho, an online outlet for luxury brands. The platform is already available since 24th April on two of Alibaba’s e-commerce channels Taobao, for mobile purchase, and Tmall

Germany: Zalando opened an outlet store in Mannheim. Five more outlets are planned for the end of 2022

Decathlon Germany has launched a new service scan and go. It is a contactless and autonomous service of payment

Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

Célio offers up to 50% off on selected articles for Men’s Week



TUESDAY 12th May
Fashion economy: two different speeds

Neiman Marcus, luxury department store, received the approval of the bankruptcy court on its plea to access financing aid while attempting to reorganise the company

J.C. Penny in talks with lenders on Bankruptcy loan

Aldo, a footwear retailer, is now exploring bankruptcy protection. The company is suffering from the stores’ shutdowns but was already struggling before the COVID-19 crisis

Ugg launched “CA805 x Thermal” sneakers, made with heat-sensitive uppers that change colour depending on the temperature

Gap sued by its landlord of NYC’s store for unpaid rent of April and May

Desigual’s capsule collection with French Designer Christian Lacroix will be ultra-colourful with emphasis on floral motifs

Supergreen launched its new collection of shoes made of corn fibres

Under Armour forecasted a 50 up to 60% drop in second quarter’s revenue as stores remain close in many countries amid COVID-19

Stage Stores filed for bankruptcy, following Neiman Marcus and J. Crew. The discount department store operator will seek bids for the business or any of its assets, while it also begins to wind down its operation

Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

• The Kooples offers up to 50% off on selected articles as VIP sales

Maje offers up to 50% on its summer collection as part of its midseason sales



Stores opening in process

American brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap and Khol, begin to reopen stores as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease

Serena Williams has been chosen to be the new ambassador of Stuart Weitzman worldwide

India Mahdavi, French architect and designer, will launch in mid-June a collab with Monoprix

Kering rose €1,2 bn through bonds issue the objective of the operation “contributes to the diversification of Kering‘s sources of financing and increases the group’s financial flexibility by allowing the refinancing of your existing debt and the extension of the maturity of your financial resources. “

Primark has appointed Savill to find space for the company to store more than £1.5bn of stock from that cannot currently be sold overseas

The Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani Collection fashion shows will take place in Milan this September. The modalities are yet to be defined



Supports and donations continue as brands are preparing the lift of confinement

Grazia teams up with designers to fight COVID-19. For May’s edition, the Fashion publication teamed up with Erdem and Richard Quinn to realise its special cover. This initiative has the objective to raise money to fight against the virus

Despite the pandemic climate, the Italian brand MSGM has decided to broaden its store footprint by opening a new store in China

Parisian luxury complex, La Samaritaine, has postponed its opening amid COVID-19. The famous complex, owned by LVMH, that had been under renovation for years will now be inaugurated the beginning of 2021

Lord & Taylor plans to liquidate the inventory of its 38 stores. The retailer has been placed under bankruptcy process amid COVID-19 and does not expect to be able to emerge from it once lockdowns are lifted

In order to support the fight against the pandemic, Nike has announced it will donate 140,000 products( footwear and apparel) to medical healthcare in the US and Europe. In addition, The Nike Foundation, Nike leaders and Nike employees have collectively committed more than $25 million to Covid-19 relief efforts

Nordstrom announced yesterday that the retailer will close 16 of its stores and restructure its operation in order to cut costs and weather the impact of the pandemic

While many retailers are still under lockdown and are facing the difficulties of the pandemic in Europe and America, Lululemon managed to open its largest store in Hong Kong

France: Sandrine Conseiller, CEO of Aigle, has announced that they will take several measures for the lift of the confinement but taking the temperature at the entrance of the stores is not one of them. More frequent cleaning procedures, hydro-alcoholic gel and other safety measures are going to be present in Aigle’s stores

Sonya Rykiel’s acquisition by Eric and Michael Dayan has been finalised and the first act as the brand’s new beginning will be its presence on social media

EssilorLuxottica, the eyewear specialist, has announced a decline of 10% of its turnover for its first quarter compared to 2019. The group has also announced that the impacts on the selling of the second quarter are even stronger (negatively) than the first one

Starting from next Monday 11th May, the ERTE of Desigual’s office workers and logistic centres will be ended. With this, it seeks to “gradually return to business normality”, including e-commerce, and return to the conditions prior to ERTE. The company’s decision has been motivated by the results of the openings of its stores in Germany and other countries where the lockdown has been lifted

Mango has announced its donation of 1% of all its stores selling to the COVID-19 fund of the World Health Organisation to support the weakest groups and health systems during the pandemic. This project will be carried out over the next two months through Mango’s physical locations in Europe, Russia and Turkey, as well as New York City, according to its progressive reopening

Spain: H&M has announced it will reopen its stores but with no access to the fitting rooms and with special measures for the returned garments




The crisis impacts more and more not only fashion retailers but supply chain as well

L Brands Inc. has announced yesterday that the group agreed on calling off the sale of majority stakes of Victoria’s Secret with Sycamore. L Brands said it was in its best interests to focus on navigating an extremely challenging business environment rather than engaging in costly and distracting litigation to force a partnership with Sycamore

Gap launched its new collection targeting Gen-Z with Gap teen with sustainability in mind

Supreme partnered with Barbour for a special waxed cotton capsule. The capsule, consisting of a field jacket, crusher hat, camp cap and waist bag, pays homage to Barbour’s heritage

Not as a real casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brooks Brothers has extended its options to seek for potential buyers

J Crew filled yesterday for bankruptcy and is the first American fashion casualty of the pandemic. Overall, roughly $2 billion of its total debt will be cancelled and exchanged for roughly 82% of the equity in the retailer under the plan’s terms, according to court records

Uniqlo new collar between Daniel Arsham and Pokemon might be the most artistic collar of this spring

Major change in management for Missoni. The Italian luxury brand has announced that its general Director, Emilio Carbonera Giani, who managed the house since 2015, stepped down and a new CEO position has been appointed to Livio Proli

La Halle got backlashed by unions as they qualified the negotiations as being done “under a gun”

Amazon France request to furlough its staff has been refused by the French Minister of Work. The minister stated that the reason for Amazon’s staff being in partial unemployment is not due to a decline in activity but to a judiciary procedure

Don’t Call me Jennyfer or also known as Jennyfer, a French mass-market brand, has decided to donors everyday heroes. A simple white t-shirt with a strong message “Call them heroes” or “Merci” are what make the collection special. The brand has launched a special collection of t-shirts thanking the medical staff. All the profits will go to the Fondation Hopitaux de Paris



MONDAY 4th May
The crisis impacts more and more not only fashion retailers but supply chain as well

Estée Lauder third quarter beats the estimates in terms of digital sales growth. However, net sales fell down by almost 11 per cent

J Crew might be preparing for bankruptcy. The company is working to secure $400 million in financing to fund operations in bankruptcy, the report added, cautioning that timing could still slip, and plans are not yet finalized

The French trade fair Première Vision organisations stay positive and aim for the event to take place in September as usual. On top of the normal event, Denim PV will also take place in Paris. Première Vision has also decided to deploy a series of digital tools in order to stimulate the industry during the lockdown period, as well as boost the potential connection between suppliers and designers

Arket will be launch in China this autumn but there will not be a physical store. The lifestyle brand of H&M group has decided to make its debut with Tmall, Alibaba’s B2C e-commerce platform, instead and will open a digital flagship

TK Maxx reopened its online store with daily orders limits. To be able to do so, the discount chains have introduced enhanced cleaning and sanitation at its facilities to protect the health and safety of its warehouse workers, and work patterns and layouts have been improved to allow associates to follow the 2-metre rule

Amazon extended its work-from-home policy until October 2nd

Gap has announced its exclusive licensing partnership with IMG. This will open doors for a range of cross-category products extension

Amazon responded to Trump Administration’s blacklist of some of its foreign websites such as Germany, France, the UK, India and Canada. The unfavorable action against Amazon comes at a time when the company is already facing pressure for its conduct during the Covid-19 pandemic

Harrod’s will offer VIP remote personal shopping experience before the reopening also making sure that they keep their top customers engaged before that happens

Esprit decided to close 56 of its stores in Asai in order to optimise its costs




The crisis impacts more and more not only fashion retailers but supply chain as well

• Genesco Inc, the owner of Schuh, introduced further furloughs and pay cut, leaving the company with only 10% of its initial staff. Adding to that, the group introduced further salary cuts to its executive staff

 PVH, the owner of Calvin Klein, announced that 75% of its staff (retail, corporate and warehouse) will go on unpaid furlough or will have their working hours decreased. Remaining full-time employees in North America will see their salaries temporarily reduced by between 5% and 20% in accordance with their compensation level

• VF Corporation, the parent company of Vans, announced that its commitment to provide full pay and benefits to its retail employees

• H&M announced that the group will work with other retailers to support Bangladesh workers, where more than 2 million have been hit by factory closures as coronavirus lockdowns hit orders

 Pyer Moss converted its offices in New York City into a donation centres for needed supplies

 Kering will donate $1 million to the CDC Foundation to support healthcare workers in the United State

• Through Nike and the Nike Foundation, the athletic company has committed over $17 million to COVID-19 response efforts

• Levi’s announced that all its stores in China have reopened with sales recovery on a weekly base and digital sales rising last month

• Asos still going strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The group had their annual meeting yesterday and announced its gross profit was up 17% at £750 million, but the retail gross margin fell to 45.4% from 47.4%. The company is benefitting from its already strong online presence

• Havaianas, Toni Pons and ModaEspaña join the donations to fight the coronavirus with a production of masks and equipment for Spanish hospitals



TUESDAY 7th April
Brands are giving away more discounts

• Levi Strauss & Co, owner of Levi’s,  invested 3 million in the fight against COVID-19. Adding to that, the company has announced that it will produce 10,000 medical masks and is currently investigating its capacity to produce more

• Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie&Fitch furloughed retail associates and implemented corporate salary cut as Coronavirus continues and, so do store closures

• Clarks plans permanent store closures as an option

• Tiffany &Co committed to donating $1 million to COVID-19 relief efforts through its namesake Foundation. 3/4 of the donation will go to WHO and the other quarter to The New York Community Trust’s NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund

• Primark took the decision to furlough all its store employees and to introduce 20% pay-cuts for its senior executives’ employees and leadership team as well as the CEO are getting 30% and 50% cut, respectively


Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

•  H&M offers 20% Off all sportswear and on Home 

•  Urban Outfitters offers 25% Off for Easter

 Sandro offers 20% additional to sales garments

• Loavies adds new articles on sales and communicates an up to 70% discount

American Today offers 30% off everything




Stronger measures taken amid Coronavirus 

• Capri holding furloughed all its North American staff and expects to reopen beginning of June. This action impacted 7,000 employees

• New look suspended its payment to its suppliers “temporarily”, even for already delivered garments. The company also cancelled further SS20 orders

• Gap followed the same strategy as New Look: it cancelled all its seller and fall orders amid Coronavirus pandemic

• Patagonia compensate migrant workers who have been charged excessive recruitment fees to secure jobs in Thailand 

• The Modist, a modest fashion luxury e-retailer, has shut its doors permanently due to huge financial hit at the back of the Coronavirus pandemic

• Leïla Menchari, famous Window dressers from Hermès, passed away on Saturday at the age of 92 

• Lindex’s owner, Stockmann, has filed for corporate restructuring in order to generate more cash. The group is still profitable and online selling is performing. However, it is not covering the loss of the brick and mortar channel

• Primark concerned about the impact the orders it will no more proceed decided to create a fund for the factories workers of its suppliers

• Arcadia could permanently close some stores as impacts of the coronavirus

• Giant retailer Go Outdoors rebrand itself during the quarantine as Go Indoors as part of a campaign urging the customers to stay at home

• Superdrug launched a new same-day delivery service to better serve their customers during the quarantine

• Dundas launched its own activewear line

• Hugo Boss postponed its annual meeting


Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

•  &Other Stories offers free home delivery within EU until 31st May, as well as free shipping and extended returns & refunds up to 100 days




Innovation in Fashion leads the way to a more sustainable future, even during the crisis

• Coronavirus pandemic stalls global fashion group Inditex. As the virus continues to impact severely its domestic market, Inditex has opted to produce medical equipment in its factories. Even though the Spanish group does not disclose exactly the portion of its fashion made in Spain, its sources 57% from factories near its Spanish HQ. As those 13 home market factories do not produce fashion garment anymore and logistic has been put to halt, a question has been raised whether supplies to shop elsewhere in the world would remain.

 Puma proposed to suspend its dividend given the impacts of the pandemic. Two major factors have affected their net sales and cash flow: First, their online selling represents only 10% of its share of business, then from China, South Korea and Japan, all the other markets have temporarily closed their stores.

• Jules, a French brand, signed the launch of a capsule collection focused on Netflix tv-show la Case de Papel. Although the Brand initially decided to close its online shop, they have now opted for an intermediary option which allows the customer to purchase and to get deliver once the confinement measures will be removed.

• Sergio Rossi, iconic footwear designer passed away at 84 after contracting the Coronavirus

 Fenty, Rihanna’s brand launched with LVMH, signed the creation of a whole capsule collection made out of synthetic leather

• Ecopel, supplier specialised in fake fur, has continued working on a way to improve sustainable garments and presented this week a sustainable alternative to wool.

• Moda Operandi, the online luxury retailer, shut down its men business as the pandemic crushes the demand even in the top tier

• Primark, last one among its pier to show solidarity with its workforce, has announced a 50% pay cut for its boss. The parent company Associated British Foods announced pay cut for its bosses

• Fenwick’s executives’ team is out. The company has been struggling for a while and their online platform is not yet mature. The decision has been taken by the owner family. The family appointed John Edgar, known for his previous CFO position at Selfridges and Harrods, as new MD.

• Vera Bradley, the American handbag and luggage company, started to implement furloughs and compensation cuts amid COVID-19

• The group Walgreen Boots Alliance reported better-than-expected Q2 results with sales up 3.7%. The UK branch, Boots giant, was the one pulling the group down as the group faced a “challenging UK market” for the quarter. The company reported sales fell 1.7% in Retail Pharmacy International but Boots managed to hold market share in its categories

• Spain: H&M and Footlocker prepared an ERTE for their staff members

• Procter & Gamble joined the fight against the COVID-19 and announced their donation of €500,000 to the Red Cross program. Adding to that, the group will provide personal hygiene kits that will be distributed through its centres


Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

•  H&M offers 15% off all its dresses for its members ( loyalty program)

Intimissimi offers 70% off on selected items




Another day, another wave of actions impacting the  fashion workers

H&M has reported a 46% plunge in selling for March due to the Coronavirus while online selling increased by 17% 

• H&M started cutting hours amid COVID-19 pandemic affecting tens of thousand employees worldwide

 Arcadia continues its fight to survive during the crisis and furloughed 14,500 staff among its 16,000. The team is also getting a pay cut between 25% up to 50%, while Arcadia’s CEO is taking no pay nor benefits at all

 Philip Patek will start to sell online for the first time

• Neiman Marcus has started to go further in the preparation of bankruptcy

• CFO of De Beers, Nimesh Patel, will step down on 26th July to join Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc

• Givaudan, the swiss fragrance maker, has started to produce hand sanitizer to fight the pandemic

• Pitti Uomo is postponed to September

• WSM Fashion reboot has been moved to September during the women’s fashion weeks

• Mido, the eyewear trade fair, postponed again its show. The 50th annual salon will occur in February 2021 instead of the previously announced July 2020

• The association of Fashion Creators of Spain (ACME) plans to donate 70,000 masks to the hospitals of the most affected area in Spain

• The German group McTrek has filed for bankruptcy due to impending insolvency

• German manufacturer, Rosch Fashion, has started to sell protective masks. It has added to its model a B2C approach by selling directly to consumers through their online platform


Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

•  The Kopples offers 20% off all its dresses

  H&M Kids deal for its members : 20% off on the kids collection with minimum purchase of 40€ 




Retailers  try to reinsure  and to stay positive 

• Chanel has launched its live event “friends of the house” on Instagram and will start to entertain its followers/customers on Friday 3rd April with the Belgian singer, Angèle, one of its eyewear campaign’ égérie

• Mango is surfing on the wave of live events on Social Media. The company has launched live-streamed home session concert on Instagram, started on Thursday with the young artist Marta Knight

• Victoria Beckham is going to donate 20% of all sale transactions to COVID-19 relief efforts in the US and in the UK

• Diesel, Maison Margiela and Marni are donating 10% of their online proceeds to COVID-19 relief. The funds will serve for the procurement and distribution of protection kits for the medical and paramedical staff

• American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) will be furloughing store, field and corporate associates from April 5 and has also announced that it will be delaying merit increases for employees and implementing a hiring freeze

• Lululemon is committed to continuing pay protection for its employees until the 1st of June. Executive staff have agreed to a salary cut of 20% over the next 3months

• H&M will fully pay its suppliers for already produced and placed orders. However, new orders will be stopped

• 10 Corso Como, famous Italian concept store, has decided to stop its business in NY

• H&M getting closer to reach its objective of 100% sustainable cotton. The group has announced that in 2019, they managed to produce 97% of their cotton assortment with sustainable cotton

• Hut group has launched a £10 million aid-package to support vulnerable communities due to the pandemic

• Birkenstock stopped temporarily its production due to the Coronavirus pandemic

• Next is following Ted Baker’s path and now announced that they are looking for sell and leaseback of their headquarters and warehouses to raise cash

• H&M Foundation revealed the winners of the Global Change awards 2020. “Incredible Cotton” project in Galy (Brazil) won the first place

• PVH Corp, the owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, donated 1 million to COVID-19 relief. Some part will go to the Solidarity Response Fund created by the UN Foundation, some other will go to the CFDA/Vogue foundation and to other funds as well

• Paris trade shows, normally occurring in June, have been cancelled due to the pandemic

• PVH Corp announced an uptick on its 2019 full-year growth of 3%, or 5% on a constant currency basis, compared to 2018

• Copenhagen has announced that, until further notice, the fashion week will be maintained at its initial date in August 2020

• Shopify announced an optimistic Q1 result, expecting the revenues to be higher than the previously announced guidance

• Pronovias appointed a new Managing director, a former alum of Zegna Group, Maurizio Mantovani, for North America

• Balmain and Valentino donated €1million to Hospital in Madrid

• Decathlon supplied “easy breath” snorkelling masks to Italy

• Chanel, also in Italy, managed to wave the crisis without any layoff

Apedomia applied ERTE for its store and office staff


Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

•  Bershka announced in its newsletter 50% off, online-only, on selected articles 

•  H&M added 15% extra on sales garment for 48hours only 




Companies taking further actions on workers conditions

Carhartt will start producing 50.000 outfits for the American medical sector as well as 2.5 million masks

• The BBC reported that the company is “having to revise its restructuring plans” in the face of the unprecedented retail situation at present

• Beauty has become key to lockdown shoppers while fashion remains flat

• Fast retailing, UNIQLO parent, has called upon its Chinese manufacturing to produce 10 million masks over the next two months. The company will donate supplies to medical facilities around the world, sending to the most pressing needed countries.

• A partnership announced between Victoria Beckham and Reebok

• L’Oréal finalised the acquisition of Mugler and Azzaro fragrances. They announced in October that those two brands should be part of their portfolio with the acquisition of Clarins

• Adidas, after furious consternation and backlash, apologised in advance and announced that it will pay its rent

• H&M Germany applies for short-time work benefit for its employees. Around 20,000 people will be impacted

• Galeria Karstadt, German department stores chain, will stop rent payment for all its facilities ( department stores, sports stores, travel agencies and logistic properties) stating that it is due to the government decision of ceasing non-essential activities

• Capri holding announced another batch of donations, made by its subsidiaries: Versace, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo,  of $3million to local relief

 Pronovias will present an ERTE for 100% of its store staff, impacting around 300 workers. An ERTE( Expediente de regulation temporal de empleo) is specific to Spain and allows companies to temporarily decrease the number of hours of a certain employee or several or all employees work, for a limited period of time

• Vestiaire collective will organise a special sale with celebrities to help to fight COVID-19. All the funds will be donated to French organisations and institutions working in the first line of the fight

• L’Oréal expects a decrease in its sales by 5% in the first quarter

• Hong Kong February retail sales plunge by 44% year-to-year as Coronavirus spreads

• Guess furlough half of its North American corporate staff and stores close indefinitely. Likewise, not only 50 per cent of its North American associates but associates from the distribution centres from the US and Canada will be let go on Thursday as well. To help the business stay afloat, the company will also proceed to temporarily tier salary of all management-level corporate employees in the US, including Guess CEO and CCO who will face a 70% reduction



Reinforcements of measures

• Spain: the government is tightening the confinement and paralyzes the non-essentials sector by stoping their activities such as clothing apparel and shoes

•  2Million masks produced by Mango arrived in Spain

Macy’s to furlough 130.000 employees. The department stores plan to keep its stores shut and to bring back its employees on a staggered basis once the industry is back and running. 

• Bain&Co expects a luxury market global contraction between 25 to 30% in the first quarter of 2020. In the 12 months, the loss could fluctuate between €60 to 70 billion

• France: department stores ask for a fiscal deduction of their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Tod’s board of directors has decided to modify the 2019’s dividend and will not, therefore, distribute any. The profit of 2019 exercise will be put under reserves in order for the group to have enough cash to face the COVID-19 pandemic

H&M comes at the rescue of its suppliers and confirms the shipment of already manufactured goods; great relief for many of their suppliers in Bangladesh.

Hermès will not adjust its dividend ( keeping it similar to 2019) nor putting any of its employees in technical unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The French company will also donate €20million to the Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris

Zalando announces an expansion of its Connected Retail Program to help physical shops to continue their business during the COVID-19 pandemic

• Trade Show Moda in the UK is going to be delayed and has been postponed to September instead of August initially

New Look appointed a new director as John Gnodde has stepped down

M&S to see fashion sales plunge. According to Goldman Sachs, the group should expect a 60% drop in the three months to the end of June

Gap furloughs most of its North American staff and reduced its headquarter headcount


  • Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

  • Urban Outfitters continues its actions with up to 40% Off on all men’s style


Other news

• Pressure growing on UK’s largest bank to cut bosses’ bonuses and shareholders’ payouts to preserve as much cash as possible if the COVID-19 pandemic last longer

• Facebook pledges $100M to help struggling Media amid Coronavirus

• W magazines furlough majority of its staff and suspend publications




  • MONDAY 30th March
    The future of fashion has never been that uncertain

Macy’s will furlough most of its employees as stores stay closed and sales continue to drop

• Fashion network discuss the possibility of postponing the sales period

• Fashion PR is getting heavily impacted as the Men’s fashion weeks have been canceled

Arcadia pauses its pension scheme for at least three months during the crisis in order to keep cash

• CFDA cancels cruise collection 2021 and postpones NY’s Men fashion week

Kering postpones annual shareholders meeting

Adidas, Deichmann, and H&M are criticized for stopping paying rent “one-sidedly”

• E-commerce: the sales have plunged by 76% since the confinement

• Fabergé warns of significant COVD-19 impacts. Shares in the group fell 0.6% to 8.45p on Monday morning following the announcement.

Chanel announced that it will not layoff any of its employees nor putting them under technical unemployment and donated €1.2 million to hospitals and other health structure

Chanel announced that the Parisian Fashion house will start producing surgical masks and protective gears once prototype will be approved

Zegna Group donates €3million to Italy’s Protection Agency and starts producing masks

• CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund ( CVFF) has been repurposed and launches “A common Thread”, a fund to help fashion businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Burberry to raise funds and produce masks to help the NHS


  • Merchandising Actions taken by the retailers

Urban Outfitters flash deal with 50 extra off on all sale items

Ted Baker names new CEO

Claudie Pierlot promise to become a more sustainable brand and wants 80% of its collection to be sustainable by 2025

• The assortment will see a rise of sportswear




  • SUNDAY 29th March
    Retailers are starting to take commercial actions

H&M BE did a flash deal of 20% off on all the website for its members

Urban Outfitters has given 15% extra off its mid-season sales, as well as 30% off on selected brands

H&M group brands, such as Cos, Monki and ARKET have given an extra discount on sales garments to their customers   


Google gives $800 million to help against Coronavirus

Armani donates €2 million to hospital in Italy

Ralph Lauren donates $10 million to help researchers finding a cure to COVID-19 and produces 250.000 masks

Burberry warns of dire sales slumps as Coronavirus spread

Next, Pret-à-porter, Mr Porter close their online activities




  • SATURDAY 28th March
    Retailers showing support with donations

• All the countries which had a confinement period lasting until Beginning of April have now extended it, until further notice, to mid of April

LVMH producing 4 millions of surgical masks for France

Kering producing 3 millions of masks and Gucci 1.4 million for their domestic markets

LVMH announced that their Q1 sales could decline from 10 per cent up to 20 per cent vs Q1 2019

Mango has given its customers 20% off the full price collection until 5th of April

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