COVID-19 is having a significant impact on almost every way of life and business. We can see an immediate effect on the industry with retail shops closed in most countries, and websites and trading volume significantly reduced. The knock-on effect is of great concern to all in the industry.
Our response and our partnerships
We have acted quickly to adjust the volumes and ranges in our season launches – assisting our retail partners, many of who are currently closed and have no way of selling stock through. This will reduce obsolete stock levels in the supply chain, allowing carry forward stock and reducing the amount of clearance products retailers could be faced with at the end of the season.
We have always worked with factories that we trust and treat them as valued partners. We have a responsibility to the people who make our products and we choose to make the conscious decision to support their workforce and their way of life. We would not expect our partners to work alongside ourselves, making our products and then put unjust pressure on them when we are faced with difficulties.
We have taken the following steps to lessen the impact:
- We took the decision early to reduce planned production for the 2020 autumn and winter ranges.
- We’ve spaced orders out and re-planned production levels and ranges.
- We have NOT cancelled any orders already in production.
- If costs have already been incurred, we are working with our factories to manage the impact.
COVID-19 will have a huge impact on the overseas factories we use, but we are committed to work in partnership to minimise the consequences and manage fluctuations in demand. We do not expect our factories to have to lay off any workers as a result of Covid-19. We do anticipate that overtime hours will be cut locally to assist factories in managing peak volume reductions.
Volume reductions are difficult for us all. By communicating to our factories early, sharing production numbers early and working collaboratively to re-plan volumes, we can assist in supporting their businesses which in the end is sustainable for us all.