Since cases of covid-19 started to decline, we saw the retail industry start to reopen. Now there are threats of a second wave of covid-19, and there are huge fears about how a second wave would affect the economies around the world.
In America, the revenues for fashion businesses, as well as general merchandise, had decreased by 7.3% across the country, lockdown also saw an increase in people spending more money with their credit cards. When you look at states like California, Arizona and Texas, who introduced lockdown restrictions much earlier, and were very strict, the declines were much higher than anywhere else, California fell down to 19.9%, Texas 13.2% and Arizona 18%.
Fashion retailers have had it hard this year thanks to coronavirus, a lot of people have lost their jobs and several businesses were forced into administration. Other here in the UK, Europe, Australia and the US (in some states) there has been the threat of more lockdowns, now businesses have been offered help from the government to support them through these tough times. With the threat of coronavirus still lingering around, businesses are having to close and reopen, there is a stress on both big retailers and little businesses in our local areas with a possibility of bankruptcy by the end of the year.
Depending on where you go in the world, different countries have different policies, like the UK we have shorter business hours with shoppers having to wear a mask and clean their hands regularly, unless your area is currently in a local lockdown. Belgium only allows customers to spend half an hour in the stores, or stores in Melbourne have shut down voluntarily after locals have been told they should stay at home.
For any governing body that looks after retail in Europe or Australia, have issued a warning saying that if there is another lockdown (which realistically there is a high chance there could be) it will be a lot harder this time around, however government’s around the world need to continue to support fashion businesses. However in Australia, the government has decided to cut the money that is usually provided for the Australian equivalent of Jobseekers allowance, by around three quarters of what it once was; this could massively affect one million workers in Victoria alone. The UK is also planning to end some of their support schemes, including for workers working at home and landlords going easy on their tenants.
In the past few months, stores like Debenhams and Monsoon are a couple of the many that have gone into administration. Financial experts a predicting that we will see a lot of companies beginning to downsize and restructuring the businesses. Even when the stores are reopening, and business are trying their best to survive, consumers are hesitant to return back to going into physical stores and returning back to ‘normal’.
During the first lockdown, we didn’t know what to do because we had never experienced something like this. Now we have experienced it once, we can hopefully better prepare ourselves.