Bidding a farewell to hugely popular brands, the effects of coronavirus pandemic on international brands

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  • Retailers apocalypse has forced shut international brands with almost 1700 stores closing in 2020
  • Forever 21, Zara, Guess, Victoria’s Secret pull out all stops on retail stores
  • Majority of brands file for bankruptcy

Harley Davidson may indeed be pulling out of the Indian Market.
A luxury brand that is hugely popular and aspirational announced that it would be bidding farewell to the Indian Market owing to weak sales.

This is unfortunately true for many international brands, the COVID – 19 pandemics has forced them to pull out and shut down their stores in many international regions and markets.

The preventive lockdown measures have hit the fashion apparel, cosmetics industry hard, with stores, closed during the lockdown, involving 48 countries worldwide, the sales plummeted, profits dwindled and businesses struggled to keep afloat.

These highly popular brands are now facing mass closures of retail stores and some have been forced to file for bankruptcy.

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While some retailers were already grappling with the popularity of online shopping, which required these brands to reinvent and change strategy to adapt to this trend, the once still following the traditional business model are undergoing the worse consequences.


The Coronavirus pandemic dealt the final blow in the already existing struggles and even the well – developed e-commerce businesses are in serious trouble.


Let’s take a peek at some of the brands that you may not find around in your shopping ventures or even online shopping.

Victoria’s Secret – a go-to brand for many women, the brand was already facing a decline in sales even before the pandemic and after it filed for bankruptcy and announced closures of up to 250 stores. According to Forbes, its net sales fell 46% in the first quarter of 2020.

Zara – another brand that is hugely popular in India, announced this June that it will close up to 1200 stores worldwide. The company now plans to focus on online shopping.

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Forever 21 – declared it expected to close 350 stores globally, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

Aldo – a brand that most women swear by and have a presence in almost 100 countries, is looking to restructure and build on its legacy in retail fashion in other jurisdictions, in a statement issued by the brand.

Esprit – announced that it will be shutting all stores in Asia outside China – Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Macau – owing to a slump in sales.

H&M – another popular brand in India, is looking to downsize as part of the restructuring process and focuses to add on to services online.

JCPenney – filed for bankruptcy in May 2020 and missed debt payments and has nearly $4 billion in debt. It plans to close 242 stores between this and the next fiscal year.

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Gap – closed 40 stores globally and plans to close 230 stores over the coming two years.

The International Luxury brands have a long rocky road ahead and require realignment and res structuring owing to shrinking market and loss in demand. The loss may be irreversible for many and the revival calls for huge investments with matching demand.

As earnings and therefore spending’s has seen a curb and a cautionary approach adopted by individual spender worldwide, it is a tough and bleak scenario for many of these brands.  

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