Written by Colleen Baum, Pamela Brown, Emily Gerstell, and Althea Peng
As business leaders worldwide grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and well-being of their employees and customers must be the top priority. Already, apparel and fashion companies have put their assets to good use in the crisis, be it by turning over their factories to make face masks or hand sanitizer, donating products and services to healthcare workers, or helping employees find temporary roles with companies that are hiring. Ensuring that the business can survive and thrive after this unprecedented shock is crucial as well, as our colleagues emphasize in a recently published article, “Safeguarding our lives and our livelihoods: The imperative of our time.” (For the latest insights on the pandemic, see McKinsey.com/coronavirus.)
In North America, the apparel, fashion, and beauty industry generates approximately $600 billion in annual revenue and employs more than four million people. Apparel and fashion companies must act quickly to secure business continuity, minimize downside for the latter half of 2020, and get ahead of business-model changes that may be necessary coming out of this disruption.
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