The coronavirus impact everybodys and everythigs. News or olders, nobody was oblivious to what happened these months.
The impact of the coronavirus in the menswear fashion
Many companies were working these months, but they try to respond with their customers in the best possible way. ¿How was working and keep the business at this hard stage?. We can talk with Daniel Robinson of Tie Supply (United Kingdom) and Francisco Gómez of Franciscano Sastre (Argentina).
“The biggest struggle I have had, has been in my own head”, by Daniel Robinson
Adrián Guzmán – You started your business in the last november, very close to the pandemic, have you had any impact in your business?
Daniel Robinson “Absolutely, we noticed a huge drop in website traffic and overall sales, it makes it much harder to survive but we are grateful to all our amazing customers, checking in on use and continuing to show us support!”
AG – How do you think it could have impacted the sector in general?
DR – “It is no surprise that the entire fashion industry has shrunk, we expect to see the overall demand for retail drop massively as people discover they don’t need to always ‘splash out’ on new clothing”
AG – Being an entrepreneur is always so hard, how has it been in these difficult times?
DR – “More than anything, the biggest struggle I have had, has been in my own head, trying to find ways to excite the customer base and continue building the brand without having sales come in”
AG – If you have bought materials, products and other supplies for your business in recent months, this was severely affected by the closure of the borders or was maintained with some normality?
DR – “Gratefully because we do not hold much stock other than the necessary we haven’t had a problem maintaining stock levels, we understand that some companies have really struggled due to the nature of their business but we foresaw this and prepped well”
AG – Are your business growth plans maintained despite the coronavirus?
DR – “The Short answer is no, we are going to have to revisit how we grow this company going forward, it will require a lot of work but it will be exciting to see the new direction and share it with you all.”
AG – Do you think the people will buy online more often than before?
“I feel looking at the data, people will just be buying less in general, especially with regards to fashion, people have found that the need to buy things was due to the impact of herd culture and the fear of missing out, but its a new world and ideally a less wasteful one!”
AG Do you think online stores increased their sales due to covid 19?
DR – “Looking at the official figures, most companies have lost a majority of their income and honestly are unlikely to see the same numbers again”
AG – Do you think that traditional stores without websites will turn to the web in order to be able to face better these situations and not lose sales to possible events in the future?
DR – “I feel they will have no choice, however this will further dilute the online marketplace and mean that potentially, businesses will struggle even more overall”
AG – Do you think the new normality will end soon, or will it take time until a new way of developing ourselves in society is established?
DR – “I would hope that the new society that has been created will be one that wants to for with this world and not tear it down, we all should now come together and build a better, safer and closer world.”
“It is the great difference of the luxury service, personalized and that has to satisfy the needs of a client who in person”, by Francisco Gómez
Adrián Guzmán – How has quarantine particularly affected your business?
Francisco Gómez – “Particularly in my case it has not been of great incidence since the work I do requires a lot of time in manual / artisanal work, so these 3 months that we have been forty have helped me to carry out many pending jobs”.
AG – How do you think it has affected the tailoring sector in general in Argentina?
FG – “I think that in general terms it has affected the entire sector, perhaps those that are more artisanal and not personalized, since the master tailor is the one who performs all the functions in assembling each piece. But undoubtedly a large majority has been affected because work chains are cut when a company requires qualified personnel for each stage of the process”.
AG – How much has it affected the sector economically?
FG – “I dont have values in numbers to represent the impact but considering that 90% of the tailors had to close their doors to the public for 3 months, it is more than logical the level of losses that can represent for those cases. The situation is different when a tailor is in charge of visiting at home, since at one stage of the quarantine he has been allowed to visit clients in order to deliver, measure and carry out necessary tests”.
AG – Have the protocols imposed when serving a client have changed a lot the way you serve your clients?
FG – “It could be said that the protocol to be followed from now on will surely be a little stricter in terms of the use of sanitizers and with regard to the first stage of adaptation, the chinstrap or face mask must also be present. I also believe that home care will be a great option that will provide greater security to the client who trusts his measures imposed on his home”.
AG – If you have regular clients in neighboring cities, have you been able to solve the closure of the provinces to keep the orders with a certain normality?
FG – “In the case of customers who live in other cities, provinces or countries, the problem arises that deliveries may be affected, either by the logistics that exist or also because in some cases, the last test is accompanied by delivery. In these cases, it must be postponed until interprovincial / international travel is enabled”.
AG – With respect to the import of fabrics and other supplies (if you have had to buy in these months), have you been resentful when buying or are you staying within what can be expected?
FG – “The corresponding to material purchases was maintained normally. On average, it takes 5 days for a fabric cut to arrive in the country, those numbers perhaps went to 8/10 days but it has not affected at all”.
AG – In a sector where the presence of the client is more than necessary, has the internet helped you through apps such as zoom or skype to take measures or have you been able to maintain normal attention at the tailor shop?
FG – “Social networks have been of great help as always in these cases in order to clear doubts, advance issues that have to do with budgets, different types of materials and some design issues. But when it comes to taking measures, the presence of the client / tailor is essential”.
AG – Do you think that the new normal will prevail for a long time or will it return to the old normal as soon as possible?
FG – “I think that while it is easy to adapt to certain issues that dont require the presence of the client, when it can be returned to normal it should be the closest thing to what has been done so far.
It is the great difference of the luxury service, personalized and that has to satisfy the needs of a client who in person can accompany the modifications, adjustments or arrangements that he requires according to his anatomy”.
AG – Do you think this can help encourage action for tailor shops online or by filling out action forms how various firms do around the world?
FG – “As I have said before, true bespoke luxury service must be in person. All other adaptations that can be made are adaptations that leave a margin of error so it would not be the end of tailor tailoring”.
AG – Finally, do you see in the future of tailoring an advance towards comprehensive digitization in customer service thanks to new technologies in order to better face challenges like the one we are currently experiencing?
FG – “Without a doubt, I think it will be a change that must be taking place on a small scale. Many previous questions must be resolved in order to make a piece taking into account the measures that the client can provide us. Beyond being taken by a professional who has all the necessary knowledge, it is the eye of the tailor who determines additional measures of great importance when observing the client on the first date. I believe that in the first instance it will serve to give continuity to customers who already have a developed mold and a small margin of error can be solved in the last test”.