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Fashion retailers halt operations; diversify production

Since the last few days, several fashion companies have halted operations entirely, as states’ new stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders mean many also can’t fulfill e-commerce orders. They’ve been forced to close distribution and fulfillment centers, and at the same time, they’ve closed their online stores.

Reformation closed its Los Angeles factory and distribution center, as a result of California’s “Safer at Home” mandate. The company will also not ship its online orders until distribution centers reopen. New York-based Marysia closed its online store while The Frankie Shop also suspended its online operations in compliance with New York Governor Cuomo’s mandate.

Among retail chains that have closed their e-commerce sites are TJX Companies, Inc,’s TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods. The company has closed its distribution and fulfillment offices. The company operates distribution centers in several states with current business restrictions, including California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Georgia.

American fashion companies have switched production to essential products. Taking a cue from LVMH, which plans to start producing hand sanitizer in its fragrance and makeup factories, Los Angeles Apparel, Aviator Nation and Citizens of Humanity have offered up their factories for mask production. Luxury brand Christian Siriano’s sewers have also gone to work making masks.

Other e-commerce closures are been driven by international restrictions. They include Victoria’s Secret and Pink, which rely on factories in India and Sri Lanka, where factories have increasingly announced shutdowns. Beyond local restrictions, these clothing manufacturers are facing a shortage of raw materials from China and declining orders from western brands.