As the effects of COVID-19 spread around the world, different product categories were disproportionately affected, and the fashion industry was hit particularly hard across Europe as only essential goods were selling. As retailers begin to open over the next few weeks, things will look much different. Accordingly, here are a few things to keep in mind as retailers begin to open in Europe:

Sales

With only essential goods moving and non-essential retailers being forced to shutter their doors for months, they now have two seasons’ worth of excess stock to offload. Fashion retailers have seen sales decline—some by as much as 32%—in the three months leading to May. In order to deal with the excess stock, sales will surely be on offer.

Safety 

Governments across Europe have said that non-essential retail will reopen “when it’s safe to do so,” making one thing clear: stores must prepare to open their doors while abiding to social distancing and ensuring the safety of their consumers to the best of their ability. Some measures for this include installing sanitization stations, screens, and limiting the number of customers that enter a store at any given time. All of these efforts—coupled with signage and more frequent cleansing practices—will add up to a significant investment. 

Strategy

In most cases, excess apparel stock will be a given. There will  be limits to the number of consumers inside a store at a time, meaning lower likelihood of selling stock at the same rate as before. And this doesn’t even include the piles of apparel growing in warehouses. 

When it comes to excess stock, traditional channels like clearance sales won’t be enough, and discount retailers won’t have the capacity or the cash to take all of it, as they have been closed too. 

As retailers and brands explore ways to offset loss, they can still recapture value for excess stock with the right solution. B-Stock’s B2B marketplace platform provides access to thousands of vetted buyers, a consistent listing cadence, and a private, customized setting in which the seller can place restrictions on buyers.

If you’d like to learn more about how an online B2B marketplace can help you with your excess stock, request a demo. And we invite you to join us for a webinar on Thursday, 28th May at 3pm BST / 4pm CET to learn how an online marketplace can solve your COVID-19 excess stock problem. B-Stock’s EMEA Head of Business Development Giorgio Vitale will be joined by EMEA Marketplace Manager Jess Morris to discuss how B-Stock’s marketplace platform works when it comes to:

  • Brand control
  • Higher pricing
  • Velocity
  • Auction strategy
  • Buyer demand
  • Sustainability

We hope you’ll join us. 

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