Yesterday I really felt gloomy about the future, for the first time while being in quarantine. I was shocked in regards to my work when I received the news that after Net-à-Porter had closed its distribution centre in the US last week, the company is shutting down e-commerce operations for Net-à-Porter and Mr Porter in the UK/Europe/Middle East as well. The only space to shop left is the Asian site. It’s not clear when the websites will be back up and running. At the moment, they are not able to accept customer returns, and have extended the window for product returns to a timeframe of 60 days instead of 30.
For me, as I am working with e-commerce, this decision has hit me pretty hard. Somehow, preparing my posts, doing some online shopping or at least looking at the sites, gave me a sense of normality. Now, not being able to generate revenue as much as I used to, leaves me uncertain of what will be next.
The upcoming men’s and haute couture shows in Paris, that would have taken place in July 2020, have been cancelled and Milan’s next men’s fashion week has been postponed and will be merged with the city’s women ready-to-wear week in September 2020.
The retailers that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crash.
The question is should the fashion industry skip a season? A question, BoF is asking in today’s article. Many companies have not the possibility to work at the moment on their collections. Some might not be able to afford skipping a season but let’s be frank, what will happen with all the merchandise that is left now, that cannot be sold due to closed shops and shut down e-commerce websites. When stores eventually re-open, there will be so much unsold product in the market that analysts are predicting a wave of discounting similar to that seen in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008.
In terms of my blogging industry, I can see a tremendous shift happening. Some large fashion and beauty retailers have paused affiliate link programmes as the coronavirus pandemic depresses sales, throwing a fundamental element of the social media economy into turmoil. Right now, it is happening in the mass market, with houses like Dillard, Ulta and Macys, but I am convinced others will follow. Is this the end of the influencer era as affiliation programs are driving a lot of our income?
With so many questions arising, I am sure that we will have difficult times ahead, with also lots of new chances popping up. In the meantime, I am wishing you lots of good energy while enjoying yourself at home. I will try to entertain you as much as I can. Isn’t it quite ironic that we got the corona virus from China and now it is only the Asian warehouse that is open…
Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Net-à-Porter and BoF
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