Fashion retailers turn to online sales

GEORGE TOWN: Fashion retailers have been forced by the Covid-19 pandemic to get rid of their clothing at low prices through online shopping platforms.

They do this in order to be able to empty their stock and maintain their activity.

Unable to open her store since last year, store owner Chuah York Chin, 38, said many fashion retailers have moved their businesses to online shopping platforms such as Shopee and Lazada.

“We rely heavily on online sales since our stores cannot open.

“At this point, we are considering emptying our old stock and those from the previous holiday season like Chinese New Year.

“We are lowering the prices just to ditch our old stocks because we cannot hold them too long.

“The clothes don’t go bad like the food, but we try to follow the trends.

“People who follow fashion wouldn’t want to buy obsolete pieces,” she added.

“For us, we need to empty our current stock and prepare for the next festive seasons such as Deepavali and Christmas in November and December,” she said when meeting at her store in Prangin Mall here recently.

Chuah said they need to keep increasing their online sales as they still have rents and salaries to pay.

“Due to the current economy, we only see one or two transactions from our online platforms each day.

“If the situation does not improve soon, we will have to reduce the stock that we are ordering for the next festive seasons,” she said.

At another store, an assistant who wanted to be known as Peter, 30, said he relied on online sales to support the business.

“We are also cleaning our old stock. Currently, we only visit our stores once a week to pick up and pack customer online orders for shipping or delivery.

“Since we have leftover stock from last year, we also have to empty it,” he said.

At the Queensbay Mall near here, nightwear and underwear owner Elisa Ng, 52, said she recently downsized her retail stores to cut spending.

“We originally had two retail stores here, but they were merged into one point of sale to support our business.

“The workers also suffered a 20% pay cut. The cases of Covid-19 are still too high, ”she added.

“Even if we were allowed to reopen, my staff and I would not feel safe. So we rely on online sales, ”she said.

Ng said that many people are shopping online nowadays, it may have helped maintain their retail store.

“Since we primarily sell sleepwear and underwear, we can let our supply come and go naturally.

“There are hardly any fashion or trend restrictions in these clothing categories, so we can hold our stock for a while,” she added.

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David A. Albanese