The 25th Pambianco Fashion Summit titled “The Fashion Industry and the Management of Uncertainty,” was held on Wednesday, November 11th, 2020. The event highlighted the impact the pandemic has had on global markets and the actions taken by companies to address this crisis.
Resulting from this year’s turbulent events, the luxury fashion sector was severely damaged by the global closure of shops, as well as by the lack of tourists – something still having an impact in European markets. The key component for facing adversity, common to all the interlocutors present at the summit, ultimately relies on “resilience.” Thanks to the willpower and team spirit, the featured companies present at the event expressed gratitude and satisfaction for the results obtained.
A recovery was highlighted in the third quarter, especially in the Asian market driven by China, where domestic consumers returned to travel, giving advantage to the areas where tax-free poles have been created (Hainan) and ultimately enabling those to benefit from the new concessions introduced by the government.
From the analysis conducted by PwC on Millennials and Generation Z, it has been discovered that in the new normal, consumers will have greater attention to the price of products and will seek a safe and accessible customer experience. Engagement will be shifted towards digital and companies will have to place more and more attention to issues relating to sustainability.
If the number of consumers who moved their shopping channel online during Covid-19 has increased in all markets, and that number will no longer return to pre-pandemic levels, it is also true that the physical brick & mortar store will continue to represent an important space for the consumer; consumers want to “touch and feel” and will continue to seek that. Omnichannel is now essential, and it has to allow a true integration between physical and digital, giving rise to a “phy-gital” shopping experience.
Another interesting find, provided by Silvio Campara, CEO of Golden Goose, underlined how the crisis has definitively changed the way of approaching the consumer, who can no longer be defined by the 4 P model (Place / Product / Price / Promotion) but from a new model based on 4 Cs (Consumer / Community / Conversations / Consideration) that all revolve around People.
A key role in the world of fashion is certainly played by Italy, where 41% of European fashion production takes place. Furthermore, 60% of the high-end product is produced in Italy (data: National Chamber of Fashion). Italian textiles and clothing allocate about 66% of their production to exports (data: Confindustria Moda). Fashion is, therefore, the second most important industry at a national level and it is extremely important to protect the entire chain that goes from large brands to SMEs. In addition to the issues of sustainability and digitalization – in order to overcome the crisis, it will be crucial also to focus on competencies and on the training of people (both for technical roles and within the retail locations): this strategy will protect the fashion chain and create added value.
Even if the numbers are still not trending positive, signs of cautious optimism came from the summit; once the health crisis is resolved, consumers will return to travel and choose European markets for their purchases because they are more advantageous to them. Ultimately, a new approach to the global consumer and an organic integration between online and offline will allow for greater engagement and the possibility of a complete customer experience.