|When the news of the coronavirus initially sneaked out of China, no one thought that it would take such a gigantic proportion and engulf the whole world in its deadly claws. Cocooned in what we thought was a safe country, we were all debating on how China would lose business and the disruption in supply chain would have long term business implications.
|But that’s old news, now the seriousness of the situation has manifested into a bigger catastrophic as retail markets lockdown indefinitely and placing fashion in stores is not even a consideration, let alone a priority. From regular times when even a few days of delay in shipment could mean a debit note or a rejection in accepting the order, leading to major setback in business; buyers themselves are asking vendors to hold shipments till further notice. And in some reported incidences they have actually cancelled orders!
|Meanwhile manufacturing destinations like India, Vietnam and Bangladesh also close factories to curb the spread of the virus.
|This fact itself reflects how the industry is impacted. These are times like never before at least in our living memory we have yet to see a situation that has such a strong global impact, where companies, communities and governments are united by a single cause – safety of its people.
|I am confident that when things settle down after this mayhem, many positives will emerge. The picture which looks so bleak today can actually leave some very disruptive and positive lessons for tomorrow. The first of course being that ‘health and safety’ is surmount.
|On the business front, companies will realise that depending on few destinations for supply chain requirement is a bad strategy. Have strong backup sourcing options is a must. While China is being seen as a perpetuator of the crisis, other countries need to learn from the mistakes.
|Also, I am sure once people are out from their homes, shopping will be a top priority. Markets which are deserted today will again bustle with activity. Shopping, specially fashion shopping is a great stress buster and after months of stress, retail can expect brisk business.
|Retailers and manufacturing units should use this time to relook at their operations. What better time than now to discuss strategy and long-term growth roadmaps. In the daily grind of business, planning for the future often takes a back seat.
|We must all use this time productively to prepare for the business that will come in, a few months later. Yes, everyone is facing loses and morale of people and companies are really down, but instead of crying over spilt milk, it would be better to accept the reality that the situation is the same for all and we must act as a cohesive force. What is important is to bounce back strongly with new directions!
Apparel Sourcing Week 2023, a two-days Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from all over the world including India, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts), workshops, open-house discussions and networking opportunities organised during these three days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian and International Retail and evolving dynamics of sourcing in various markets and retail formats.
Apparel Resources is well known for its benchmark publications – Apparel Online, StitchWorld and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh & Vietnam. These publications have been around in the industry for over 35 years, supporting, guiding and standing by garment exporters and the retail industry globally, providing them a platform to source better.