If fashion’s legacy businesses couldn’t get out of their own way to evolve for a future they may not recognize, coronavirus may be the event that finally draws a clear line between those that will make it and those that won’t.
In Part I of our interview, Fashion’s ‘Thin Ice’ Foundation Gives Way to Crisis for Vietnam Supply Chains Faced with COVID-19, Bahl explained the state of affairs for factories in Vietnam, and exposed the industry’s problem with partnership.
In this video, Part II, he warns that fashion’s old ways simply won’t do in a post-pandemic world.
While Amazon is thriving in the midst of the virus, “the legacy businesses just did not move,” he said. “They were still holding onto their coattails and getting into more of a price-value proposition…that chapter is closed now.”
Whether the industry shifts to more of a direct-to-consumer model, or another that allows for greater agility and better consumer engagement, the supply chain will have to be reset if it is to advance—and so will the relationship between brands and their suppliers.
“If a factory or a supplier runs late, you’ve got to pay for it. You air the goods and you take accountability and responsibility for not being on time. If a quality is not on the mark, we have to be accountable, we get debited. If our documents are not the way they’re supposed to be, they debit us. So everything is the expectation for the suppliers to perform at a 100 percent, and if you don’t perform at 100 percent, there is a penalty attached,” Bahl said. “I think it’s time for that conversation to be picked up where the brands have to start understanding that they’re equally accountable and responsible.”
In two years’ time, fashion is going to be facing “a completely different model,” as Bahl outlines.
“This is a reset moment, right? So you’re going to see a reset across the board,” he said. “It’s not just factories—I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people on the front end, the B2C end, also have to shut their doors.”
Check out more in Sourcing Journal’s new ‘On the Ground’ video series, which will bring often unheard voices in the supply chain to the fore.