What are the impacts of the crisis on your market?
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the overall fashion and garment industry in China due to the large-scale cancellation of export orders and the serious decline in foreign trade, the severe decline in consumption capacity and insufficient consumer confidence in the domestic market as well as the shortage of raw materials and labor faced by manufacturers. In addition, logistics and the supply chain are deeply affected by Covid-19. Different types of companies are at different stages of production resumption. The efficiency of the industrial chain has declined.
Are we going to restart as quickly as possible or do you think we will be able to rethink the world tomorrow?
The industry is recovering. Thanks to government support and the Association’s help, the resumption of production in China has been relatively fast. Some manufacturers who switched to producing masks and protective equipment resumed production very early. Data from the past few months also confirms the continued recovery of the industry. The declines in production, domestic sales, investment, and efficiency have slowed. Some companies emerged from the dilemma in the first quarter and started to make profits. However, the epidemic situation continues, especially in foreign countries. The domestic apparel industry has to face the new normal of sluggish exports and relatively low consumption.
What has the crisis changed for you or what have you learned personally?
From my point of view, I feel that the industry is closely related to everyone. In emergencies, no matter how powerful companies and supply chains are, they will face a crisis. Insignificant small products (masks) used in daily life may become priceless. No matter what kind of personal life habits they have, everyone has to make changes and adapt. Facing the future, the industry should improve its ability to manage risk and supply chains. Companies need to focus more on the development of functional and technical raw materials, improving the technology used on products. At the same time, companies have to accelerate their transition to digitalization of all processes including management of sales, general operations, production and the supply chain. As a result, companies will improve their ability to respond quickly and manage efficiently.