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The Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on The Global Fashion Industry

With the increasing shift of consumers towards digitalization, fashion retailers started extensively adopting new strategies, such as introducing digital sales channels or ramping up omnichannel services.


The global fashion industry experienced a drastic drop in sales volume after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, with the increasing digitization of consumers, retailers have found new strategies, such as the introduction of digital sales channels or the expansion of omnichannel services. The acceleration of the online market in the apparel market allowed merchants who could adapt to the new conditions to stay competitive. Furthermore, over half of the global retail growth in the forecast between 2020 and 2025 will come from online sales, and within that period about 10% of digital sales are expected to be in hands of the fashion industry. The dominant players of the market such as Global Fashion Group and ASOS saw an increase in revenue of between 10% and 20% from 2019 to 2020. Furthermore, a significant share of countries worldwide experienced a boost in E-Commerce sales in the clothing industry, especially, remarkable after the COVID-19 health crisis occurred in 2020. In Japan, the growth in the clothing B2C E-Commerce market from 2019 to 2020 far outpaced the previous year on year increase. In South Korea, the sales value went up as well from 2019 to 2020, and the clothing sector was the biggest contributor to the B2C E-Commerce sales value of the country in 2020. In the United States, the online retail sales of apparel and accessories increased at almost 19% year-on-year from 2019 to 2020, which was the fastest-growing product category, accounting for slightly over 1 in 5 of total B2C E-Commerce sales in the country.  In the UK, also, online sales in the clothing segment are expected to grow steadily over the next few years, though the expected growth rate peaked in early 2021.