Monthly Retail Round-Up - March 2020

Some of the best articles from the world of retail and its supporting industries.

Whether you’re reading this at home, at work, surrounded by your children, flatmates or family members, we hope you are well and healthy.

As mentioned in our February Monthly Round-Up, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the retail industry. There have been many stories of temporary store closures however I wanted to outline some of the positive news surrounding the virus.

So between the virtual pub quizzes, Zoom calls and Netflix Parties, have a read about what some retailers are doing to help in this challenging time.

1) Supplying Protective Equipment

Larger retailers are using their connections and logistics capabilities to help with the provision of masks and hospital gowns, for example, reported in The Industry Fashion, “Mango is to donate two million masks to Spanish hospitals.”

Here are two other retailers helping to fight against the coronavirus:

  • H&M

Reported in The Retail Bulletin, H&M is “arranging for its supply chain to switch to producing personal protective equipment for hospitals and health care workers”.

Anna Gedda, Head of Sustainability, H&M Group, said “The coronavirus is dramatically affecting each and every one of us, and H&M Group is, like many other organisations, trying our best to help in this extraordinary situation. We see this is as a first step in our efforts to support in any way we can. We are all in this together, and have to approach this as collectively as possible.”

  • Inditex

Reported in Vogue, Inditex “will make its factories and logistics teams available to the Spanish government to donate much-needed masks for patients and medical workers.”

After already donating 10,000 protective face masks and shipping another 300,000, they are now in the process of “sourcing medical grade for hospital gowns.”

2) Hand Sanitiser to be Produced

Before pasta and loo roll, the first thing to fly off the shelves was hand sanitiser and stores have had to start putting restrictions in place. Two retailers responded to this issue:

  • LVMH

Reported in the BBC, LVMH “will use its perfume production lines to start making hand sanitiser to protect people against the coronavirus outbreak.”

LVMH said in a statement (reported in the BBC), “These gels will be delivered free of charge to the health authorities.”

  • Country of Origin

Along with some of the other charitable news reported in Drapers, “Knitwear brand Country of Origin is launching a kickstarter campaign to retool its knitting factory temporarily to manufacture WHO-grade hand sanitiser. 100% of profits will be used to supply care homes free of charge.”

3) Donations to Age UK

There are many positive news stories about retailers donating their profits to charities and Age UK is notably one that is in need in this unusual time. Some of the retailers supporting charitable organisations are:

  • Kurt Geiger

Retailers are closing their stores to protect their staff and Kurt Geiger has said this is “also to give them a chance to help out in the local community if they wish to do so.” Reported in Drapers, “Kurt Geiger is urging its 2,000 store workers to utilise their time whilst being paid and not working to become part of their volunteering scheme for employees with Age UK.”

Also, check out Kurt Geiger’s #smallactsofkindness campaign for NHS workers along with a 50% discount for them in all stores for a year once they re-open (The Industry Fashion).

  • In The Style

A Statement by In The Style, Reported in The Mirror, said “In light of the evolving global situation surrounding COVID-19 and in response to Age UK’s call to the government today for further support, In The Style pledges to donate 100% of all profits from In The Style X Olivia Bowen sales to Age UK, a registered charity dedicated to supporting elderly people across the UK who find themselves in a more vulnerable situation and facing uncertainty”.

  • Three Graces London

Reported in Drapers, “Womenswear brand Three Graces London is to donate 100% of net sales from all products sold on its website over the next two weeks to homeless charity Crisis, amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.”

Follow all the latest news on coronavirus here, and if you want to have a look at how London’s designers are staying cheerful during the outbreak read this Vogue article.

We hope you enjoyed the round-up. Please feel free to get in touch with any stories you feel would be of interest.

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