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A Covid-19 story from a matchmaker of Brands with Agents & Distributors

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, as the Dickens quote says from, "A Tale of Two Cities”, and that pretty well sums up how life and business have been since the arrival of COVID-19.

On a personal level, in the beginning, it was great to get away from the pressure of 100+ emails a day and to roam the streets of London with no cars, time to think, to reflect, time to get creative and to imagine new ways to work and help people and to reinvent the company.

The result was very rewarding, we created our own bi-weekly newscast aimed at independent retailers, agents and small to medium-sized brands, most of the online fashion news portals don’t seem to be focused on or interested in this target group. We also started a series of webinars directed at both agents and brands generating a growing following.

The newscast plus the other things we were doing such as giving a real push to make our social media stand out, had some unexpected and welcome results, one week we had a 1000% increase in visitors to our website.

Due to the fact that we are connected to agents worldwide, we have a unique overview into how things have been working in different parts of the world, so while China was well on its way back to a new normal, other countries were experiencing the worst of times. Many shops were having financial problems and this meant the brands that sold to them were also experiencing problems and the agents that represented the brands found that they too, were losing out on income.

Thankfully things have moved forward, agents after a slow nervous start have started selling again and things were and are not as bad as we all thought they would be. There is a general feeling that orders may be down between 20-25%, for some, it may be worse, however, we know of many brands that are doing well. Those selling online are prospering and one client has hired twenty new team members to manage his website orders.

If I were to make a prediction, one possibility might be that as we get nearer to Christmas, there could be a shortage of stock which means in the New Year as Spring and Summer arrive since most shops will have cut back on their forward buying, we may see a big demand for stock, so those that sell stock will be smiling!

So here we are, brands and agents all waiting anxiously to see how the final selling figures pan out. I am hopeful that the worst of times are over and the best of times are to come - I’m the glass half full kind of guy.

Guest author: Anton Dell

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