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NEW YORK – The coronavirus is now a ‘Black Swan’ event for apparel brands and retailers claims a new study which surveyed global brands with sales volumes totalling US$100bn. In many cases, brands reported their vendors in South Asia are running out of fabric, with fabrics (92 per cent), garments (92 per cent) and trims (83 per cent) the parts of the supply chain being most heavily hit by the epidemic.

85 per cent of respondents said they are reviewing alternative options to China, with Bangladesh being the largest beneficiary in terms of possible alternatives. The research suggests that, given ongoing trends, the sourcing shift away from China may remain permanent. Surprisingly, 46 per cent of global sourcing leaders said they have played the wait and watch game so far, only beginning their assessment after factories reopened post Lunar New Year.

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