Better safe than sorry. Spanish fashion companies are preparing to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus. This is a task that focuses mainly on the suppliers and factories that Spanish brands work with in China.
Sources from the textile sector are concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the Chinese manufacturing industry. Currently many manufacturing centers are operating at less than 10% capacity with no end in site.
For Eduardo Zamácola, president of the textile employers’ association, Acotex, the spring-summer collection “is saved,” as it came out in December and is already in the stores. “There is no risk of shortage, at least for the time being, as their fears are centred on the autumn and winter collections, from which the raw materials – buttons, zippers or threads – should already be being manufactured.”
That is why brands have started to implement contingency plans aimed at preventing damage to their production. In particular, orders from China are beginning to shift to countries such as Burma and Thailand. With this, companies hope to save their new garments for the time being. “The problem will come as the virus continues to spread,” explained industry sources.
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Margin of manoeuvre
One of the big Spanish fashion groups, Tendam (Cortefiel, Springfield, Women’secret, and Pedro del Hierro) has more than 100 suppliers in China alone; around 30% of the garments bought by the group’s brands are produced in the Asian countries.
However, the company believes they have the resources to weather the storm. “We have a production network in more than 30 countries, which allows us enough room for manoeuvre if the situation should continue,” sourced from Tendam tell Vozpópuli.
Although the group insists that it is difficult to “predict exactly” when production delays will start, they estimate that if the current problems persist, supply will be impacted towards the beginning of the summer.
In order to avoid this, Tendam has begun to divert some manufacturing to other countries while assessing whether it might make sense to evaluate the shift from sea to air transport if the accumulated delays are large and lengthy.
News from Inditex
With seven stores in the Wuhan region and part of its production in the country, Inditex has not yet made public what measures it is taking in the face of the coronavirus crisis and how this may affect its production.
This same Monday, February 24th, the company led by Pablo Isla was one of the biggest punished (accumulated more than 6% drop at market closure) after the alert for the disease in Italy.
The first blow for Inditex in the stock market as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The Spanish company has closed the day with a fall of 6.2% on the trading floor, to $32.12 (€29.62) per share. A fall that is, therefore, above the average of the Ibex 35, which has remained at 4% and which has caused it to lose $6.7 million (€6,6 million) of its stock price on Monday, February 24th.
The case of Zara’s owner is noteworthy since the company has not yet provided information on what protocol it is activating on its stores in China or on its suppliers in the Asian country.
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First published in vozpopuli, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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