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A letter from our Retail & Apparel Sector Head

While every sector and industry has been profoundly impacted by Covid, few had as acute a challenge as the retail sector, which virtually shut down all physical locations overnight. Retailers, and the designers, manufacturers, and importers who supply to it, faced catastrophe with stores closed, and products locked inside. By raising capital, shifting resources to e-commerce, finding efficiencies in expense structures, and reducing inventory levels, retailers were able to position themselves to survive the pandemic, and thrive as the economy rebounds. The US consumer has also proved more resilient than anticipated, with retail sales levels exceeding the levels before the pandemic.

HSBC’s long history and extensive breadth of clients in the sector provided the bank with an opportunity to help those who were challenged and those who benefitted from the shifting consumer demands. Now more than ever, having a financing partner like HSBC who not only understands the need for diversifying sales channels and supply chains, but is positioned to help accelerate those changes, is key to success.

All the best,

Eric Fisch

Changing Consumer Trends

  • key

    ESG Messaging


    The younger consumers, who will soon dominate spending, are more conscious of a product’s environmental impact. They are using ESG as a lense for brand selection, and willing to spend more to support brands that share their values.

  • key

    Sales Channel Diversification


    The consumer wants to be able to try on a product in a department store, go home and order it online from the brand’s website and then return it in store. When managed well, Wholesale, E-Commerce, and Brick and Mortar Retail support and enhance each other. The right proportion of each is the challenge companies face now, but dismissing any of the three is a decision that many companies have had to reverse in recent years.

  • key

    Global Growth Strategy


    Through social media, the consumer of today is aware of trends across continents regardless of the price point or category, and will find ways of buying the product. If you, as a brand, are not controlling that global distribution, others will fill the void. This could result in negative customer experiences.

HSBC's long standing history within the retail sector allows us to support even in times of uncertainty. With a large international footprint and wide range of product offerings, we have the ability to incorporate feedback on global production, trends and demand that help our clients grow both in the US and beyond.

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