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Crisis Management Amid COVID-19: What Must Be Done

Tue 24 Mar

Industry executives are anxious, worried for their workers and taking aggressive action to keep their companies alive.

The virus disruption presents an opportunity for stores to sell merchandise that’s aligned more with the seasons, and set later markdown periods. This would help smaller, independent brands, which are inevitably going to have cash-flow problems due to all of the delays resulting from the virus. I think in exceptional times, the larger balance sheets need to take care of the smaller balance sheets, and I’m not being naïve when I say the stores have to postpone the markdown season. It’s an incredible opportunity to fix the absolute derelict system of markdowns. If the big retailers collectively extend the lives of this season until July — like it used to be — and realign the seasons to the weather, this will allow them to accept [later] deliveries from smaller companies and brands.

Stefano Martinetto, co-owner and chief executive officer of Tomorrow London Ltd., a business and creative platform for designer labels