COVID-19, what does this mean for your business? Time to go digital + get your products online; Stay safe, stay home + stay connected; Take this opportunity to evaluate your brand, your goals and get your 'virus-survival strategy' in place to come out stronger than ever. Your Bi-monthly Newsletter for independent designers + brands.
Hello Wonderful Community and Welcome to our fourth issue - I truly hope you are all well, staying safe and indoors throughout this uncertain time. I'm sure everyone has seen the news and is now in full social distancing, self-isolation WFH mode.... I know we are! The whole LDC team packed up the March store Thursday last week and from Friday have all been WFH (It's taking us time to adjust to this new digi-work-life, not the most natural thing, but we will get there!).
This COVID-19 situation we find ourselves in has and will impact all of our businesses both online and offline. This situation is affecting all of us, all over the world businesses are facing our same challenges and it is important to remember this for perspective. I have laid out my thoughts and opinion below in how I see the situation in terms of challenges, concerns, impact as well as opportunity in hopes to help prepare you and your business in weathering the coming months to flourish on the other side. We are taking our own steps at LDC; pivoting the business digitally, focusing on driving our designer's e-commerce sales, collaborating with expert consultants to help your business through this, creating and sharing as much content and information as we can.
Myself and the whole LDC team want you all to know that we are here for each and every one of you through this challenging time, the survival and thrival of not only LDC but most importantly all of you - our wonderful designers and small businesses - is our utmost priority and concern, and we want you all to know that we are here for you. If you need to talk to someone, whether it be strategy, support on what happens next, what government support/grants/advice or even are feeling a little anxious and want to chat, we are here and open for you. Simply drop me a reply to this mail or any of the LDC team.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay at home + STAY IN TOUCH,
Founder + CEO, Rebecca Morter
COVID-19 INSIGHTS + PREP
We have put together a short article on our findings, thoughts, and insights surrounding the current virus situation - the full article is available on the website. I hope it helps! Please note, these are purely our current thoughts and opinions only.
The Impact: On Physical Stores + Shopping Behaviour
The high street as we know it will be one of the most affected areas - it is going to see a massive change and the next 6-9 months are going to be key for businesses survival as this period will be heavily disrupted and the majority of brands taking the opportunity to pivot businesses digitally. All brands, especially luxury fashion, are likely to experience low sales and forced to enter “survival mode” which will hit the next 6-9 months the hardest however potentially be difficult for the next 18 months at least. [Read More]
The Opportunity: For the small, local + resilient
We do believe in and see the scope for innovation and opportunity - we have to remember everyone is going to be affected here, the entire world has been hit with this, so now more than ever it is important to unite and remember that we are stronger together, for small businesses to support each other through this and consumers to feel closer to the designers/retailers in such unprecedented times. We will come through this. [Read More]
Products + Categories
Fashion is not deemed a necessity and we will see an initial impact on customer shopping habits as consumers opt for necessities (food, healthcare) and are cautious over their employment status. However, things will settle and with more time at home, we do anticipate a spike in home comfort online shopping such as home fragrance, tableware, candles, pyjamas etc (if you have any of these items (or can have) then get them online now!). We also believe that we will then see an increase in more unusual, unique items with consumers turning to the unique and unusual, seeking stories and exciting new pieces to carefully add to their homes/wardrobes - even if it means just wearing that new favourite dress around the house - we are all going to want to feel good, look good and to feel positive. [Read More]
As businesses pivot digitally and (assuming) the postal services continue, we will likely see the same spike Italy did in online sales. This will take a little time. With people stuck and home, boredom and little else to do people will turn to seek digital community and unity, especially on the weekends and we see this coming across most in “at home activities” conducted as a group using zoom or various other channels. There is an opportunity for smaller brands, whilst sales are going to struggle at first and times are going to be tough, there will be stronger demand for sustainable and ethical brands, brands with a story and niche that are manufacturing local and consciously to be positioned at the forefront as customers begin to think even more about their purchases and their decision making. [Read More]
NEED MORE SUPPORT?
I strongly advise all of you to seek guidance in this challenging time - I have recently sought help and support from a number of people and found the information from Growth Hub London very useful and very thorough. THERE ARE a number of initiatives open to employers + small businesses and I urge each of you to seek guidance on what your small business may be eligible for. Please reach out if you need any help, I am happy to point you in the right direction. A few initiatives that may apply to your business:
- Automatic VAT payment deferral until end June.
- Job Retention Scheme
- Business rate relief
- Business Interruption loans + more information here
COMING UP. DIGITAL.
*NEW DIGITAL SERIES*
LDC Accelerator: Creating Fashion Without Creating Waste 16TH APRIL | 6.30 - 9 PM | ONLINE
This masterclass will get you thinking more consciously about the role of Business in fashion plays in climate change, evaluating business goals and redefining what growth and success look like in the future. Expect to learn how to be a sustainable brand, this Fashion Revolution Week. Joining LDC will be Fashion Trend Sustainability Forecaster Fran Sheldon, and Toyin Laketu, Fashion Business Development Consultant of Onwards and Up. There's no better time than now to learn how to be a more sustainable brand in this uncertain climate.
What to Expect:
We will explore sustainable fashion and circular economy, new business approaches to sustainability and waste reduction. Collaborations which is becoming the new competition. Creating sustainable communities and future trends of the slow fashion movement.
Toyin Laketu, Fashion Business Consultant @on_wardsandup Toyin has worked in international business development for over 12 years. Now consulting and training start-ups to trading businesses to develop competitive and sustainable brands selling through wholesale and online. With the increasing challenges, young brands face Onwards and Up was founded to deliver hands-on support.
BWP has put together a ‘CORONA VIRUS PACKAGE’ which will advise you and your brand on how to navigate the virus and how to continue to drive sales and growth during these troubling coming months.
Founded in 2017 by Benjamin Park, BWP Brand Consultancy functions at the forefront of fashion brand development, helping small brands scale up. Benjamin’s experience as a fashion journalist, having written for numerous prestigious publications, in addition to his work at Prada and several other fashion houses, has given him the industry insider tactics and contacts to help smaller brands flourish. Ben has worked with LDC and its designers numerous times before and we strongly believe in Ben's advice, support.
Benjamin x LDC is offering special introductory prices for 1-1 consultancy appointments. Limited spaces, dates + times available.
We are sad to announce that our April Pop Up Store will be canceled due to current virus circumstances. Our May stores are currently on hold and we will notify you all on whether this goes ahead or not in due course. Stores are still scheduled throughout the year and we will be amending the schedule as we go, brands are still able to book ahead via the website.
As we can't be in store for the next month or so, we are heavily focused on taking this opportunity to deeper build out our online channels. If you are not currently stocked online with us and you are interested in joining the e-commerce store please get in touch with email@example.com. If you are already stocked with us and want to know more about how you can maximise your online experience, drawing engagement to your brand, and driving online sales, please let us know!
ALONE DESIGN CLUB? What's that? LDC is moving digital so you can continue to support our small brands while you're "ALONE" at home.
WATCH + SHOPthe LDC TV daily at 3pm LIVE on Instagram for virtual shopping, styling and designer introductions - our very own QVC channel!
Is This Online Shopping's Moment to Shine? This week, everyone will be talking about the coronavirus pandemic's economic impact, from soaring US unemployment to a potential boost for e-commerce to China's recovery. Get your BoF Professional Cheat Sheet.
THE 2020 CALENDAR
LONDON 15-28 April:Marylebone Food Festival + Fashion Revolution Week CANCELLED
JOIN OUR CLOSED FACEBOOK COMMUNITYfor e-networking, resource-sharing, ask questions and receive answers from those in the community. Get live updates, opportunities + news direct from the LDC team.
Thanks for being part of the LDC community!
ENOUGH ABOUT US, let's talk about you! Have any news to share? Anything we can do to help better support you and your business? Have something to shout about, a new collection launch, looking to hire or want to collaborate?
Share your news with us here