Europe’s Fashion Industry Faces Nightmare

“People do not buy a new outfit to stay at home.” Sales at stores that have reopened languish while ecommerce is booming. McKinsey: up to a third of global fashion retailers will not survive the crisis.

By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET:

Most European brick-and-mortar clothing stores have been open for three or four weeks, yet sales continue to languish. In April, when all but the essential brick-and-mortar stores were shut, sales of clothing and accessories slumped by 50% in the UK and 67.4% in France, the home of fashion. In Spain, revenues in the sector plunged by 80.5%, according to data published by the trade association Acotex.

But even in May, when stores in most Spanish cities reopened, revenues in the sector fell 72% year over year and are down 45% year to date. Those figures include booming online sales.

“The textile and accessories trade is in a very delicate spot, requiring urgent and specific measures for the sector,” warned Acotex. In other words, government help and money. Otherwise, the trade association said, there will soon be a wave of bankruptcies and closings.

The problem is not just that people have been unable to visit their favorite clothing stores in recent months, it’s that they’re less likely to add to their wardrobe at a time of much reduced socializing, and in many cases reduced income. As Simon Wolfson, CEO of UK fashion retailer NEXT, said, “People do not buy a new outfit to stay at home.” And much of what they do buy, they now buy online.

On Wednesday, Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers with with eight brands, including Zara, and nearly 7,500 stores in 96 countries (at the end of 2019), reported a 44% plunge in revenues in its first quarter, February through April, to €3.3 billion from nearly €6 billion a year ago, and a net loss of €409 million, its first quarterly loss since going public in 2001. The company’s shares fell 9% on the week and are down 23% year to date.

But online sales have surged 95% in April and 50% in the first quarter. Inditex says it expects online sales to represent more than 25% of total sales by 2022, up from 14% at the end of 2019.

At the end of April, only 965 of Inditex’s stores were open in 27 countries, about 13% of total capacity. But in May, despite seeing “a progressive recovery in sales in the markets that have reopened stores,” total sales in local currencies (including booming online sales) were still down by 51% compared to the same month last year.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a material impact on our operations as lockdowns and restrictions have been in place in most markets,” said Inditex CEO Pablo Isla during the earnings call.

That’s bad news for landlords, which have already seen a growing rash of store closures since the lockdown, as well as an unprecedented spike in non-payment of rents. Inditex is one of the biggest retail tenants on the planet. A few days ago, it unveiled plans to close as many as 1,200 “mainly smaller” stores around the world — the equivalent of 16% of its global store portfolio. Around three hundred of the store closures will take place in the company’s native Spain.

Despite its recent struggles, Inditex has one big advantage over many of its rivals: its huge reserves of cash, which has enabled it to continue paying its staff throughout the crisis without having to put them on short-term leave. Many of its rivals have had to tap government bailout programs to keep paying their workers, meaning no more dividend payments for their shareholders, at least until the support ends.

Budget fashion chain Primark has drawn on government bailouts across Europe to pay its 68,000-strong workforce, “without which we would have been forced to make most redundant,” chief executive George Weston admitted in a statement. Inditex’s biggest rival, Sweden’s H&M Group has also had tens of thousands of employees on short-term leave throughout the world.

The Nordic giant has been struggling for a number of years. Its shares are down almost 60% from a 2015 peak. Its last quarterly report was pre-lockdowns, covering the period from December through February. But it already reported a 57% year-on-year slump in sales in March and April.

H&M has another big problem: its burgeoning inventory of unsold goods, a problem that has dogged the company for years but has worsened since the lockdowns began. By the end of April, its unsold inventory had jumped to $4.2 billion, from $3.9 billion at the end of February. For Inditex this is a somewhat lesser issue, thanks to its eclectic mix of local production, heavy rotation of products, and its successful embrace of ecommerce.

But nobody in the fashion business is ready for what is coming. Nearly 40% of businesses in the sector are expecting the impact to be “much worse” than that of the 2008 financial crisis, according to a Euromonitor International survey. McKinsey estimates that up to a third of global fashion retailers will not survive the crisis.

The fashion industry’s tightly woven $2.5 trillion supply chain is already beginning to unravel, leaving some suppliers feeling the pinch, as big clients such as the UK’s Arcadia Group cancel orders and extend payment terms. Many of these suppliers are in low-cost labor countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh, where furlough programs, emergency business loans, and central bank corporate bond buying programs are virtually unheard of.

For cash-strapped consumers in Europe, there may be bargains to be had this summer as retailers try to entice buyers back into the stores. But these discounts could cripple the already challenged finances of many retailers. How many consumers will actually take advantage of the discounts remains to be seen — with many consumers now having switched to online buying. For the legions of already struggling fashion retailers, the hit to profit margins could well the last straw. By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET.

“Consideration may need to be given” to bailouts from taxpayers “to meet solvency or liquidity requirements,” but only “at the extreme end,” whatever that means. ReadTsunami of “Unsustainable” Business Loans to Hit Banks, City of London Grandees Warn

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  91 comments for “Europe’s Fashion Industry Faces Nightmare

  1. 2banana says:

    In the states, truckers are refusing to deliver cargo to any location that the police have been defunded.

    Which sets an interesting dilemma.

    E-commerce has destroyed B&M stores.

    Not what happens if nothing can be delivered?

    Hopefully, a growth of locally designed and produced consumer items – to include fashion.

    • Thomas Roberts says:

      The push for automated semis will greatly increase. In the short term, anything people cannot have delivered, they will have to drive further to get.

      I seriously doubt, clothing items will be made locally. I always in favour of locally made, when it’s done efficiently, but, if you have to pay a large premium to buy local, it’s probably bad for the economy (both locally and nationally).

      Farm to table and processing food locally are where the future and attention should be paid to the buy local movement. Stores should usually, only be local if it’s sells locally made items or if pawn/thrift/good Will type stores. Making furniture is something that could be done locally too, but, only should be done if, done efficiently.

      • M says:

        Automation is the goal. That is definitely true. However, as the crashes of a certain car maker’s car into a truck, because it could not distinguish the white truck against the light background show, it is not yet ready for prime time.

        Moreover, I would be very surprised to see any place where the police are totally defunded. More likely, some cities may just reduce the funding for police departments, not eliminate it. If they were to do such total defunding, the next day they would hire police to go there from another locale, so the change would only be detectable to the affected officers.

        However, it is true that more and more of the rich will be in desperate straights as their businesses fail.

        Pity the poor, frightened, tax fraudster that probably was either secretly transporting his/her gold to place it safely in a Swiss, numbered account or vault or was taking out his/her gold from his secret, Swiss vault or Swiss, numbered account: (i.e., buying gold with the withdrawal to transport out.) That person will probably not come forward, because he or she eventually noticed that he or she left $190,000 in gold bars behind in a train but is too afraid of being exposed for tax fraud or other crimes to go claim the gold with authorities. Each day, that person is suffering. :-)

    • Stuart says:

      Truckers refusing to deliver to locations where police have been defunded ? Name one city where police have been defunded or truckers have refused to deliver goods.

      • Argus says:

        A poll among truckers showed that over 70% would refuse to take deliveries into Minneapolis. Reportedly the city council had voted to scrap and redesign the police force. The truckers expressed not feeling safe and not being protected if they had to defend themselves. They did not wish to put up with being targets. One of the respondents had already notified his despatcher of his decision. Sorry, can’t give you the reference, off-hand.

    • njbr says:

      Now tell me, where has this happened IRL?

      • Portia says:

        Well, to me personally, I used to have to share a right-of-way with a house with some nasty drug-dealer renters, and UPS and FEDEX then refused to deliver to my house because they had to go past that house and were being hastled. I had to get proactive and sneaky and get them evicted, and now I have a much better neighbor, who owns the home. The cops were doing NOTHING, and I found out later that they were using these jerks as informants.

    • Philip Frank says:

      Trucking is one of the few supply and demand businesses left.
      I’ll go when they need it. Right now they only want it. When they need it they will pay what they need to.

  2. Javert Chip says:

    …and the problem is…?

    • Portia says:

      yeah, I see a lot of influencers maybe going down the tubes too. that’s a shame../s

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Javert Chip,

      No problem unless you work there, or tax them and their employees, are a vendor to them, own their shares or bonds or lend to them, or transport things to them, or rent the property to them, design their store displays, clean and maintain their stores, etc.

      A whole ecosystem depends on these brick-and-mortar retailers. This is a big shift, and I think it’s long overdue, but the transition period is painful for those named in the prior paragraph.

      • Morty Mc Mort says:

        Roh Roohhh… (As my favorite Analyst, Scooby would say)
        We have no idea at the size of the Trainwreck coming…

  3. Petunia says:

    Thanks for giving the fashion industry the attention it deserves as a generator of trillions of dollars. Japan is also a fashion center in its own right and maybe you can include them in your next update.

    Part of what’s going on is a big sustainability movement making reselling a huge part of shopping. I don’t think anyone is tracking this in a serious way, but retailers are starting to partner up with resellers. Most good quality clothing is now finding its way to more than one owner/user. Long term this will shrink many brands.

    • Portia says:

      Clothing rental, especially designer high end fashions, has been around for years. I have been shopping consignment and charity shops for 25 years myself. With the exception of underwear and shoes, I am covered.

      • Alberta says:

        As a couture sewer, I’ve watched fine yardage (cottons from Japanese and Great Britain) double per yard ($50 – $75 per yard!); wools from Ireland and silks from Asia have tripled per yard. Couture quality interfacings, linings, zips and buttons have a lag time to reach buyer as well. Paper patterns well be collecters items as print at home flourishes.

        • The term fashion chain is an oxymoron. What if you go to a party and someone else is wearing the same exact outfit? Does the industry need more unique designs and smaller runs. Being fashion ignorant the only thing I understand is Hawaiian shirts. Why you would pay bucks for the right shirt and you don’t want anyone else to have one.

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          I agree,

          I would bet, that every significantly different design has already been done. The only thing left is to rotate then in and out of fashion, mash them up slightly differently, and put something currently popular on them like a game, movie, or “celebrity”.

        • daniel weise says:

          How did covid-19 explode in northern Italy especially the Lombardy region,the high Fashion manufacturing center of the world? well,the Chinese decided to open factories there,importing thousands of chinese workers and entire Factories to make Gucci bags and other fancy gear for the luxury hungry chinese customer. but why? you are correct,nobody will pay 5000.00 for a Gucci bag with a “made in china” Tag. they now proudly show a “made in italy” Tag even though they are basically a chinese product now. this is the new age of capitalism,marketing is everything. so this is the story of the devastating virus situation in Italy the media with all it’s resources was never able to figure out (or didn’t want to)

        • char says:

          @Bierce

          Does not really matter if it is a single store or a mega chain like H&M because the people shop at the same store if you go to a party in a not so big town. Having a fast fashion chain is actually an advantage in not wearing the same thing

        • patrick helmick says:

          my most pressing fashion decision is ” what goes with a cigar and scotch “

  4. MonkeyBusiness says:

    Good for the environment.

    One part of nature (Covid 19) helping other parts of nature.

    This is excellent news. We have too many things we don’t need already.

    • Willy Winky says:

      If we do not return to destroying the planet soon, then there will be no economy left.

      Catch 22.

      Keep in mind everything seems A-ok only because governments are paying people who have no jobs… and the central banks are bailing out just about every industry….

      Calm before the storm…. enjoy it

      • Cashboy says:

        Isn’t “only because governments are paying people who have no jobs” this the start of a Living Income.
        If you look at countries like the UK and Germany, most families were getting help with rent and living from the state before the Corona Virus hype.

  5. Lisa_Hooker says:

    Long sweatpants and clip-on ties.

  6. Tonymike says:

    “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” as they say across the pond.

    Victoria Secretions (sic) thongs for 50 dollars, while the child sewing it in Haiti is paid pennies. Wage slavery around the world, to enrich a bunch of narcissists who want their name on my underwear.

    I recently read that there are 7 shirts for every person on earth. Enough is enough.

    • Petunia says:

      Seven shirts/tops is not nearly enough, it should be twice as many.

      • WES says:

        Petunia:

        It is at least twice 7 for the 2 women in my family!

        But since I own fewer, maybe the men, lower the average a wee bit!

        Thus allowing the women to own more than 7!

        That keeps the women happy!

    • Twinkytwonk says:

      A major part of the problem is that quality is so poor nowadays that clothing doesnt last as long as it used to. Quantity over quality now rules the high street.

      • Portia says:

        This is OK, as you can go to a consignment/charity shop and find another for $5-$10. I find excellent quality vintage clothing. As long as you are not trying to wow your friends and co-workers with a flashy label hot off the runway, you are fine.

        • Twinkytwonk says:

          Agreed. You don’t get better than a charity shop in a posh town

        • R Hughes says:

          Agreed, local American cancer society resale store gets alot of posh quality stuff, for both men and women. Even old Hartman luggage when it was beautifully made. A real pleasure to see what quality used to be. Also the store trades the cheap today crap with other resale shops.

    • sunny129 says:

      Most likely there 70 shirts for every person on earth.
      8-10 apparel stores in every mall, at one time.
      Good riddance!

    • Apple says:

      Ok Boomer…

    • Willy Winky says:

      If anyone has spent time in the 3rd world, one would understand that for most kids life is a dead end from day one.

      Going to school is an exercise in futility because you are almost certainly not going to be pursuing higher education.

      Most people are living on the very edge of existence.

      If a kid can get a job making thongs for transgenders then they should not be denied that opportunity – as long as they are not physically forced to work in the factory (little worry of that since there would be millions of kids queued up to take those jobs…)

  7. WES says:

    It is hard to look fashionable wearing a face mask!

    Social distancing doesn’t help being fashionable either!

    • OutWest says:

      Fashion is all about being hip and cool. It’s about making the scene, and looking good while you’re doing it so yes, I think wearing masks is a big long term problem for the fashion industry.

      My favorite is when someone pulls their mast down to have a pull off a cig!

      • BuySome says:

        They pulled down the “mast” to have a drag…what’ll these American “Indians” think of next, throwing the tea cargo overboard?! Our snakes bite back…don’t tread.

    • Anthony A. says:

      I’m starting to see face masks matching outfits around here. I can do that too! When I wear my Houston Astros jersey I can wear my logo’d Houston Astros face mask!

      • Willy Winky says:

        I had an opportunity last week to invest in a fashion face mask opp… basically it’s an N-95 quality mask that looks nice and can be washed.

        Took a pass because either covid ends soon and nobody will wear masks or covid will continue and the global economy will burst.

        It’s one of those things where success is guaranteed to result in failure….

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I see some very fashionable face masks advertised on this site — the most recent one a few minutes ago was a glittery one called the “babe mask” or some such thing.

    • Thomas Roberts says:

      WES,

      The trick is to not wear them, if you aren’t forced to. I’d say maybe 25% of people in my area, wear them, when not required to. Some people “don’t want to be a bandit” their words and are avoiding, anywhere that requires them to wear one. Some have said they might not ever go back to their previous stores of choice, that now require face masks. It’s a developing situation, anything could happen, alot of people throughout the country, still think CCP19 is fake.

      • Apple says:

        I wear a mask to avoid facial recognition systems.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Thomas Roberts,

        Retailers need to decide: do they want my money or do they not want my money. If I go into a grocery store and people walk around in it without masks, fine with me. But I’m outa there without spending a dime. End of story. The places that have had very few deaths, despite having a lot of traffic from China, such as Hong Kong, have had mask requirements in place from very early on.

        • BuySome says:

          Poor Wolf, our retailers live in fear of lawyers. The social contract is deflating faster than your buck. People who smell like they haven’t washed in a week roam free. And shoplifters waltz through the aisles. They no longer give you a good woopin’ and a stern warning to stay out of the Woolworths. We’re sittin’ on the dock of the bay, watchin’ the tide roll away. Who needs customers when Jerome can fix all?

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          Wolf Richter,

          It could vary by store and business. But, for the people refusing to go into stores not requiring face masks, those people might just shop online anyway. Those people will largely have to go to the big stores like Wal-Mart and target depite their requirements.

          For the “I don’t want to wear face masks” crowd, they will largely have to go to big stores like Wal-Mart and target regardless of requirements, but, for almost every other store, they could replace them with online.

          So, each store will have to choose who to side with and possibly by region and city size. This will definitely add to the retail bloodbath.

          It’s a developing situation, and if a major outbreak occurs and Wal-Mart requires face masks for everyone everywhere. It could possibly reduce the aversion to them. As the more people wear them, the more normal it will be to them. It will still deter the “no face mask” crowd from many stores though.

          Creating cheap less ugly masks will also possibly help.

      • Willy Winky says:

        I checked the CDC site a couple of months ago and it specifically recommend wearing face coverings. It’s still up there if anyone is interested.

        Odd that we are only now being advise that they are effective in preventing the spread of Covid.

        Hong Kong – 8M people – 4 covid deaths – 1100 infections — minimal lockdown – everyone put on a mask from day 1.

    • Cashboy says:

      I have been surprised that the muslim community in Europe have not mentioned that the ban of wearing the niqab and burka was clearly xenophobic as everyone is now told to wear a mask in public.

  8. BuySome says:

    A never ending MASH 4077th retro-party. Of course bandanas make a good facsimile of a cravat outside of 6 feet. The well dressed gent usually kept back out of Derringer range in the past anyways. Store the mask under the tall hat. And hoop skirts with 3 foot radii could be effective for whomever would wear them these days. Maybe backwards is the new forward.

  9. Cobalt Programmer says:

    I always thought fashion industry is mostly female oriented business. Men also change their fashion but by decades not weeks. In US, even rich people dress in simple clothes. In conferences the two people in suits and tie are either a graduate student or vice president. I recently saw a picture of warren buffet and bill gates together. They are in plain clothes. May be 100 years before there were problems with production of raw materials, cotton, threads, clothes and the quality of dress was poor. Now, quality is still poor even with all the technology and laser designing. Take away the label and there will be no difference! The sector based on excessive meaningless consumption and fake high prices is in trouble during a recession. I am not surprised. What’s next? credit card applications are at a low?

    • Thomas Roberts says:

      If there is enough technological advances in production of clothing, enough new suppliers could come in to plummet prices. I am hoping for this.

    • char says:

      Men have the “i’m not following fashion” look which has its own fashion which changes almost as fast as the one for women and is only slightly cheaper. But men do wear better fabric

  10. MiTurn says:

    If anything, quarantining has trained (or introduced) many people to shopping online. This will, of course, exacerbate the problem of brick-and-mortar retailers.

  11. Seneca's cliff says:

    The status fashion statement of the moment is a genuine N95 Mask. It demonstrates you have some kind of money or connections to get one. Doesn’t matter if you are rocking a Gucci ensemble if you are slumming it with a checkered bandana for a mask.

    • dbbeebs says:

      N-95 masks mean that 5% gets thru. Our front line folks
      should be using n-100 masks [think asbestos masks] not n-95 masks, better even supplied air masks.

      I have only one picture online where nurses were donning
      supplied air respirators with suits taped to respirators. It is criminal to say that n-95 masks are protective.

      dbbeebs [industrial hygienist]

  12. Tony22 says:

    Overall positive trend is that the sustainable businesses, like gardening, seeds, fruit trees, home canning, cooking, home repair, (not remodeling),
    energy conservation, subdividing homes, car repair, reuse, repair, thrift shops are thriving. Gardening supplies are sold out, business up five fold.

    Meanwhile, useless crap like throwaway fashion, new cars, the loans to finance them, and hopefully finance itself, is dying.

  13. Bob Hoye says:

    There are social pressures to wear the mask.
    Reminds of the early 1950s when I was 14 and the pressures to smoke were overwhelming.
    Tried it, but couldn’t handle the taste.
    Now for similar social pressures I wear a mask when in the supermarket.
    Silly, but on the plus side, with it on being “accosted” by the ladies has dropped noticeably.
    Sigh,

    • Portia says:

      It’s considered rude to “accost” these days. It might get you a kick in the shin or pepper spray…sigh

  14. JK says:

    Overly expensive clothes made in China, Bangledesh, Vietnam or God knows whatever non-Western country. I went to Nordstrom’s this last Christmas to find a leather jacket. I was appalled by the cheap looking clothes sold at Nordstrom, JC Penny, Macy’s, etc. Just looks cheap. I remember when I was able to get clothes that were made well from England and Western Europe. Then, these companies want to charge you an arm and leg for all this cheap, synthetic crap. Burberry is a real rip off! They totally want you to pay an arm and leg for Asian made junk. They deserve to die.

    • Teddy says:

      Not just clothing. Hartmann Luggage, started by an Austrian craftsman, with a manufacturing operation in Tennessee, was ruined by private equity and then bought out by Samsonite, which no longer honors the Lifetime Warranty that accompanied Harmann products. Boycott this crap.

    • Xabier says:

      One can still buy quality in England, thankfully, just below the bespoke level.

      Unfortunately the mass market has been Sovietized -all rubbish.

  15. Prof. Emeritus says:

    Even their customers won’t miss fast fashion brands like H&M. What Europe shall try and preserve though is it’s own textile industry – Made in Italy/Portugal labels that provide quality above the Asian stuff. As far as I’m concerned most Italian factories can temporarily reset production from fashion clothes to safety & workwear (such as masks, ISO-compilant things, military clothing), it’s the long term effects that are more important.

    • char says:

      Zara is more made in (Greater) Europe. It is the reason why it has less of an unsold inventory problem than H&M which is more Bangladesh.

      People buy so much clothes today that only a small local European textile industry is necessary.

  16. Is Getty Images selling licenses?

  17. sunny129 says:

    The Fashion industry – a true NON-ESSENTIAL business
    No tears, here!

    • char says:

      Working from home naked is possible but it makes zoom meetings awkward. And doing a naked supermarket run is problematic even if you wear a mask.

    • Petunia says:

      How can a business that generates trillions in revenue and employs probably a billion people be NON-ESSENTIAL? In cold climates you need to cover up and in hot climates you need to cover up as well, what’s non-essential about that?

      If you are referring only to couture, you are missing the essence of it, it is intended to be wearable art. The fine arts are fashion, architecture, music, and art, and there are both good and bad examples of each.

      • Portia says:

        Couture is fine if it supports itself–what I see is suppression and outright societal theft to accumulate wealth to buy this wearable art. Couture has to be outrageously expensive in order to attract the venal and shallow.

        • char says:

          You are talking about the big famous fashion houses. There are also the more artsy local fashion houses which admittedly are more expensive than Primark but are not expensive to be expensive.

        • Petunia says:

          The venal and shallow are simply attracted to a brand because it is expensive and they need it for the status. Real fashion reflects the workmanship, values and tastes of the time it was created. The venal and shallow simply want more new expensive stuff and a lot of it.

        • Sit23 says:

          The whole ethos of doing business is that it is self supporting. The only reason a business goes broke is because it cannot get enough money in to support it’s costs. Now the interesting bit is why can they not cover their costs? Stabling and livery businesses had the same trouble at one stage. Corset whalebone suppliers had issues as well. If every Haute Couture manufacturer was laid end to end across the Atlantic Ocean, it would be a very good thing.

  18. Dan Romig says:

    I’m going to to put my grey suit on

    If you will put your red dress on

    I’m going to meet you at the dining table

    I’m going to meet you at the dining table

    -J.S. Ondara

  19. Jos Oskam says:

    Here in France, in lots of stores it is no longer allowed to try on clothing to see if it fits. So now you have to take the stuff home, try it on in your house, and return it if it turns out no to fit or flatter.

    Nobody has been able to explain the logic behind this measure to me, or how it helps in stopping the virus, since clothing still gets tried on and virus may still cling to it.

    However, this takes away the last barrier to switch to online buying, since there is no longer any discernible advantage to going to a B&M store. On the contrary, by avoiding the store you reduce the risk of getting contaminated.

    Clothing stores imposing these restrictions are toast.

    • char says:

      Simple. Virus “dies” after a couple of hours exposed to air. Buy/try/return takes more than a few hours so virus is dead when the next customer gets it in his hands

      • dbbeebs says:

        cite please

        “virus dies after couple hours exposed to air”

        • char says:

          As a virus is not really alive i can’t give a citation. But natural fiber is akin to paper and that in that case it is a couple of hours.

        • nick kelly says:

          A month after the Princess Cruise liner (the one stuck in Yokohama) had been empty the virus was detected aboard.

          Related: in the 1950 s Canadian researchers exhumed frozen victims of the 1918 flu virus and were able to cultivate it.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          dbbeebs,

          Sunlight (UV light) is tough on the virus. This has been confirmed by many sources. Google it. Including:

          “What we have found so far is that sunlight seems to be very detrimental to the virus,” Dabisch explained. “And so within minutes, the majority of the virus is inactivated on surfaces and in the air in direct sunlight.” — Paul Dabisch, a senior research scientist at the Department of Homeland Security

        • Portia says:

          Aerosal is the danger I am most afraid of. I have read that different viruses have different outer coatings, thus making them more or less durable outside the host. Covid-19 has a fatty outer covering, so dries out quickly on an absorbant surface, like cloth and paper, and lasts longer on hard surfaces like stainless steel and plastics. It gradually becomes less viable, so even if detectable RNA exists, it may be degraded and not able to infect.
          I searched “How Long Does Covid live on Surfaces”

  20. nick kelly says:

    Wow. Not normally an empathy machine, I guess I’m the only one thinking of the impact on the poor buggers who made the stuff in sweat shops. In India abandoned workers are walking 500 miles back to their villages. One gal pedaled her sick father on her bike for days.

    Is China much different? Depends on where you fit in the ‘hokuo’ designation: i.e., are you rural or urban? This stamp is almost racist: the kid of a rural is rural. The approx 300 million rural workers allowed into cities are internal migrants. They are virtually immigrant labor and without work they are not able to pay for their rent or food. Can they pay for the trip back to the village?

  21. char says:

    Clothes shops in the Netherlands sold 58.5% less in April than the year before and shoe & leather shops sold 44.7% less according to Dutch state statistic bureau CBS.

    • Petunia says:

      There’s a limit to how much black, grey, and beige you can buy.

      • BuySome says:

        In a world of sameness, gawdy equals taste, but one should never wear carnival clown shoes…prints or patterns can pass at times, but names are boring..and an indelible ink marker can turn blase into fashion with a bit of creative thought. But the deranged bunny suit may be a bit too much for street wear.

  22. Yerfej says:

    Shorts/swim suit, tank top, flip flops, lots of beach, all the rest is just posturing.

    • Portia says:

      There is about an annual two-week window in Vermont for that outfit.

      • BuySome says:

        Cooler states-Woodland green army cammie jammies, hot pink or offensive patterned shirt, L.L. Bean camp mocs (the old original rubber tire soles only) 1/2 size too big for red or bright blue wool ski socks, Registered Harris Tweed sports coat or old North Face goose down coat with hood…drive a jeep and bring the thermals. Cargo pants or chinos for optional switch out…denim material if you must (railroad pockets if the jacket is included).
        Famous last words, “Old suit! This suit was cut by Hawke’s of Savile Row.”

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