Spain’s fashion sector closes 2020 with a 39.8% drop in sales
Retail clothing sales (both brick-and-mortar and online combined) fell by 32.2% in December in Spain, contributing to a 39.8% cumulative decline in sales over the course of the year, according to the barometer of the Association for Textiles, Accessories, and Leather trade companies (referred to as Acotex in Spain).
The association has stated that it attributes the main cause of this sudden drop in sales to the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which it has termed a “genuine disaster”. According to the association, around 25% of stores remain closed.
“The drop in sales in the clothing industry is ongoing and this lag cannot be compensated by promotions alone,” announced Acotex on its website. “The prohibitions on getting together in large groups of people for lunches and dinners and the virtual absence of events and celebrations etc does not encourage people to buy dresses, suits, or accessories that they will not have the chance to show off. Sales were slightly better over Christmas compared to in November but the sector is still in a precarious situation.”
Fashion sales were in the red throughout 2020. The month of April was the most devastating and saw a 80.5% drop in revenue caused by the first lockdown (in Spain) and the closure of non-essential businesses.
Acotex maintains that exemptions from taxes, levies, and payments are still necessary as well as, “exemptions from social security contributions, as is the case with other sectors benefitting from partial unemployment measures due to the extraordinary circumstances.” The association is also calling for a reduction in VAT.
According to Acotex, the fashion industry cannot afford the rents on commercial premises if “sales remain this low” and would no longer be able to maintain its full workforce from before the pandemic. If this is the case, “businesses will have to shut down permanently,” said Acotex.
“Given the current evolution of Covid-19 infections and the tightening of restrictions imposed by numerous autonomous communities, we are not optimistic about sales and, unfortunately, sales for January, 2021 will be much lower than sales in January, 2020,” said Acotex.
The association’s monthly barometer covers the apparel sectors for men, women, and children as well as textiles, homeware, and accessories. Sales reflect changes on a like-for-like basis and are subject to monthly and annual monitoring.
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