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Coronavirus: One Year Later

The World Marks a Year Under the Weight of the Coronavirus Pandemic
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A Very
Sober Anniversary

It’s been 12 months since the pandemic crushed commerce and shattered supply chains seemingly overnight. From blockbuster bankruptcies, to spasms of social unrest, to a tense election, here’s a look back at the events that have shaped the years to come.



Virus Travel Ban Keeps 60% of Chinese Vendors Out of Sourcing at Magic >

Feb 04
Feb  25 Textile and Apparel Trade Shows Hit Hard by Global Coronavirus Outbreak >

Trump Pitches Zero Percent Payroll Tax Rate as Coronavirus Cases Rise  >

Mar 11
Nike, Urban Outfitters and Under Amour are just a few of the retailers closing stores amid the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Global Outbreak Strikes Nike, Amazon, Thousands of Stores go Dark Amid CDC Warning on Gatherings

Read More >

Fed Lowers Rates Again as Retailers Beg Americans to Quit Panic Buying >
Mar 18
H&M, Zara Halt Production as COVID-19 Sinks Global Demand >

H&M Laying Off ‘Tens of Thousands’ While Primark Halts New Factory Orders >

Mar 23
March 26 Virus Inflates Jobless Claims to 3.28 Million >

Macy’s Furloughs ‘Majority’ of 130,000 Staff as Virus Takes ‘Heavy Toll’ on Retail >

Mar 30
April 2 6.6 Million: Retail Furloughs Jack Up Jobless Claims >
Layoffs Shroud Lord & Taylor’s Post-Pandemic Future in Doubt > April 4
Coronavirus Topples Debenhams Into Second Bout of Bankruptcy > APRIL

The coronavirus pandemic is keeping stores closed, and that has led to more furloughs by Capri Holdings, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie.

Retail Furlough Fallout Takes Hold

Capri, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie Sing a Familiar Furlough Tune
Read More >

April 10 US Textile Industry Unites to Produce PPE for the Front Lines >
April 13 True Religion Files Second Bankruptcy Petition in 3 Years—Victim of COVID-19 Curse >
April 14 Virus Knocks Debenhams UK into Bankruptcy—Irish Stores to Liquidate >
April 15 Macy’s and J.C. Penney Are Among Retailers Delaying Vendor Payments >

100,000 Stores Could Disappear in the Next Five Years

With e-commerce driving growth, merchants will have a tough time rationalizing their store footprints, a trend that could accelerate the so-called retail apocalypse.

“We think regional, highly leveraged chains will accelerate closures and potentially go out of business.” –  Michael Lasser, UBS
April 30
Tapestry to ‘Substantially’ Slash Jobs After Bleeding $677.1M >

J.Crew Files for Bankruptcy >

May 4
$3.5 Million Lawsuit Tangled Up in John Varvatos Bankruptcy >   May 6

Amazon Warehouse Worker Deaths Inflate Outrage Over Virus Safety Measures >

May 7 Neiman Marcus Bankruptcy a Black Eye for One of Luxury’s Leaders >
“Until this pandemic struck, we had made significant progress rebuilding our company—and our efforts had already begun to pay off.” – Jill Soltau MAY

J.C. Penney Succumbs to Bankruptcy

The department store company goes under bankruptcy court supervision after entering into a restructuring agreement with its lenders.

Macy’s and Under Armour Raise Funds to Pay Off COVID-19 Debts >

May 26
Target Shutters 175 Stores Indefinitely  Amid Escalating Protests >   May 29
June 1
As Looting Ravages Retail, Denim Brands Address Racial Injustices on Social Media >
June 4
Simon Sues Gap for $65.9 Million in Unpaid Rent >
“Now is the time to organize, to plan, to come together with ideas we can all act on to make a better and more just world.” – Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss & Co. June

Fashion Brands Respond to Black Lives Matter Protests by Fundraising, Pledges for Change

As worldwide protest fill the streets, players in the fashion sector release statements about steps to help eliminate racism in the industry.

Brooks Brothers Files for Bankruptcy, Closing 51 Stores >

July 8

Burberry Trims 500 Jobs as First-Quarter Comp Sales Fall 45% >

July 15
Ann Taylor parent Ascena files Chapter 11, will close all Catherines stores, as well as some Justice, Ann Taylor, and Lane Bryant doors.

Ann Taylor Parent Ascena Retail Group Files for Backruptcy, ‘Significant Number’ of Stores to Close

The company said the pandemic has “disrupted meaningful progress” to optimize its balance sheet and accelerated the need for a proactive step to protect the business.

“Sustainability hasn’t always been top of mind for previous fashion weeks, but I think there’s a noticeable shift happening in the way designers are sourcing and leveraging materials for their collections post pandemic.” – Nia Silva, Fashion Snoops
Aug 3
Tailored Brands Adds to Covid Carnage with Bankruptcy Filing >
Aug 6 Between Covid and Tariffs, Fashion Execs Face Disruption on Every Front >
Ralph Lauren Sheds 3,600 Jobs in    Corporate Reorganization >   Sep 22  




“Working people are heroically and resiliently fighting back against this pandemic, its economic fallout, chronic income inequality and systemic racism.”
– Richard Trumka,  AFL-CIO

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, fashion designers infused sustainability into their Spring/Summer ’21 collections and runway presentations.

Moved by the Pandemic, Designers Put Sustainability Front and Center in Spring Collections

Spring/Summer ’21 fashion month was an example of what fashion week looks like in the midst of a pandemic

Nov 6 Lockdowns Sweep Europe—Putting Fashion Chains at Risk >

The Biden administration's Paycheck Protection Program updates give very small businesses access to critical loans needed to stay afloat.

Biden Election Offers ‘Fresh Approach’ on Trade, Covid and Economy, Industry Says

The election of Joe Biden portends a turn in the right direction for a variety of key issues facing the country, from the environment and jobs and workers, to the coronavirus and trade, many industry groups said.

UPS Temporarily Halts Pickup From Gap, Nike, Macy’s as E-Comm Spikes >

Dec 2

75% of England Will Be Under Tier 4 Lockdowns by New Year’s Day >

Dec 30
Jan 25 Biden Takes Action Boosting Made in America Manufacturing >

Belk Files for Bankruptcy to Recapitalize Balance Sheet >

Feb 24

NRF: Economy Expected to See Fastest Growth in Two Decades >

Feb 25
Mar 4
Storm at the Ports: West Coast Shipping Delays ‘Unprecedented’ >