The containment and restrictions have negatively affected the retail sector in the aftermath of the pandemic, with forced store closings and less social interaction reducing consumption. However, thanks to the acceleration in the pace of vaccination and the change in measures, new opportunities are starting to arise in the sector in 2021.
The recovery of the fashion sector will be gradual, reaching the level of 2019 over the 2022-2023 fiscal year, depending on the category. This is clear from the True-Luxury Global Consumer Insight 2020 study, where pre-Covid estimates for the fashion and luxury market had a positive trajectory, although the crisis has slowed a decade of growth across categories.
In addition, the “Annual Global Consumer Trends Report 2021” published by Coresight Research considers the luxury sector to be one of the best for recovering from the pandemic. The commitment to sustainability, inclusiveness and luxury in business operations are some of the axes on which global consumption will pivot in the coming years according to the findings of the consulting firm.
New consumption habits in the fashion sector
The fashion industry is transforming in record time to adapt to the environment, the customer and the sector left by the coronavirus. Brands are also starting to focus on the world of sustainability, giving more choice to quality fashion and “slow fashion”. 79% of consumers change their purchasing preferences based on sustainability standards, according to data released by Capgemini, showing that Covid-19 has further increased social awareness and its impact on purchases.
On the other hand, teleworking has affected the demand for fashion, since spending more time at home, mainly at work, leads to a reduction in consumption in several categories, including fashion. Although a rebound in the economy is expected and a rebound in fashion consumption due to contained demand, the truth is that many sales are already lost as some consumers have disengaged from the sector and spending on clothing. could slow down even more as consumers spill over spending into other categories.
How the industry should adapt
Both in fashion and in all industries, it is not known how consumers will behave once they can lead normal lives, or in the “new normal”. Maud Berthelod y Cristina Proena, coordinadoras del itinerario Fashion & Luxury del Bachelor in Management de TBS en Barcelona explains that el Covid-19 ha borrado la estrategia de empujar el producto y ahora hay que ser muy selectivo en lo que se produce y se pone en The stores. Flexibility will be one of the characteristics that will mark the configuration of the new supply chains.
A change is also that consumers alternate physical reality and online in the same purchasing process, depending on their needs and the security provided by brands. The rise of the internet, the importance of omnichannel, and a more flexible and agile supply chain are some of the changes the coronavirus has brought to the industry. In this sense, it is pointed out that the growth of e-commerce has moved to the center of business distribution through the integration of online and offline inventory.
“Smaller, more durable and above all, faster,” adds Berthelod. As we mentioned earlier, sustainability will also play a fundamental role, as consumer demand for actions with purpose and social impact increases and the fashion industry will continue to transform to adapt to more sustainable models. . Coresight Research estimates that these companies’ efforts will continue into 2021 although this will involve, in some cases, a complete reinvention of the clothing and footwear design process.