The Covid-19 outbreak certainly took us all for a whirlwind around the world. With health officials recommended limited travel as well as social distancing, the concern for personal and public health was greater than ever. “Non-essential” businesses were closing nationally as well as globally in an attempt to prevent the novel COVID-19 virus from spreading any further. However, the temporary suspension of such businesses created financial panic and worry for the general economy. Specifically, I would like to take a look at the effects of the Corona Virus on the wholesale apparel industry within the U.S. How was the wholesale apparel industry affected by the coronavirus closures and what can we expect in this sector if something similar happens again?
Do Wholesale Apparel Warehouses Fall Under Essential or Non-Essential?
General “essential” businesses for the most part include supermarkets/groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, healthcare operations, post offices, and etc. However, at this time, the difference between an “essential” and “non-essential” business is very much up to that particular state. According to information from the BusinessInsider, for example San Francisco has added to that list food banks, educational institutions, and any businesses that are necessary for shelters and economically disadvantaged individuals. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania has deemed food processing, agriculture, construction, warehousing, and hotel lodging to be “essential” businesses. As you have probably seen in your own local community; bars, theaters, gyms, salons, shopping malls, and sporting/concert venues have all been closed temporarily. While most restaurants still remain open, they have been asked to pivot business to only take-out and delivery. But what does this mean currently for wholesale apparel warehouses and such? At this time business continues as usual with additional precautionary measures that I’ll go into further.
What Precautionary Measures Are Being Taken?
Our wholesale apparel warehouses are very much practicing “social distancing” as recommended. The warehouses have suspended all business travel that is considered non-essential. Additionally, any and all in-person meetings with customers have been postponed or moved to a virtual format. Since some people are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 virus, some staff members at the warehouses are working from home instead. According to Prevention.com, those above 50 years old of age have been seen to have more serious complications from the corona virus. Just like with the common flu, it’s more difficult for more elderly individuals to recover from corona virus. Besides the older community, those with pre-existing and underlying health conditions are also at greater risk of COVID-19 infection. It’s for this reason that certain staff members are converting to a temporary work-from-home basis. Certain functions of the business cannot be completed from home though, so therefore, work stations are being spread out to at least the recommended six foot radius between employees.
Elevated Sanitation Measures
In addition to social distancing, our wholesale apparel warehouses are elevating sanitation procedures. Not only are hand sanitizer stations already installed throughout, but hospital grade disinfectants are being used by all cleaning services at the warehouse. Any spots of the facility that are touched more often such as door knobs, telephones, keyboards, etc. are being given extra attention for disinfecting.
Wholesale Apparel Industry Continues As Normal For Now
Some have expressed concern in regards to inventory and product availability within the wholesale apparel industry. Currently the status of inventory and the supply chains of our warehouses are in good standing. There’s no doubt that the Corona Virus is a serious matter and most definitely a global health concern. Those of us in the wholesale apparel industry take this matter very seriously and have taken the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this virus. The wholesale apparel industry has been affected just as any other industry has, however, in the meantime business remains as usual. Stay safe everyone!