Logistical problems are jeopardising timely delivery of many chain's winter collections. This is another blow for a sector that suffered badly from the pandemic-related restrictions.
Many fashion chains usually have their winter collection delivered in the beginning of September, but logistical issues in Asia have caused delays that are already grown to four weeks. "Supply is hampered by Chinese and Indian ports being closed due to Covid-19", Isolde Delanghe of Belgian branch organisation Mode Unie told local newspaper GVA. These delays are already being felt all across the sector.
Negative consequences are somewhat softened by the fact that many Belgian retailers chose to have their clothing made (partly) in Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as in Turkey. Still, the Asian delays spell trouble: "The later in the season, the more difficult to sell items of clothing", Delanghe explains. "People like to shop when their kids need to go back to school. The closer you get to the end of October, the less likely people are to pay full price for clothes."
The problems only add to the Covid misery that led to three bad seasons already for the sector. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, our turnover has fallen by a third, during two summer seasons and one winter season", Delanghe explains. "And our retailers are bound to their seasons: you cannot sell unsold stock six months later."