Earlier this month, Ariat’s co-founder and CEO, Beth Cross, told Glossy, the coronavirus would impact sales in the fashion industry, and we could expect to see that impact in our immediate future. She then went onto say the virus would influence the way fashion businesses operate. Nearly two weeks later, she’s proving to be right.
In the last few weeks alone, brands have been vocal about how the coronavirus has affected their business, not just on a logistical standpoint but in terms of sales. And the ones experiencing the biggest hit? Luxury brands, as they typically rely on the Chinese market as a significant source of business.
Burberry has already temporarily closed 24 of its 64 stores in China, which has directly impacted sales in both China and in Hong Kong. But it doesn’t stop there. A Burberry representative notes that the company expects spending to decrease from Chinese tourists at Burberry stores elsewhere in the world, in the next coming weeks, to also suffer as those travelers stay home. Chinese tourists tend to frequent both London, where Burberry has seven stores and New York City, where the company has ten stores.
But there could be long-term effects, even for brands that do not necessarily sell or manufacture in China. Where they can become effected is if their clientele base tends to travel quite frequently. Travel brands and airport retail could expect to see a dip in sales as, as of Friday, more than 50 countries around the world, including the U.S., Italy, and Australia, have restricted travel to and from China.