Although the stalled manufacturing sector has been hitting the global fiber market, rising textile sales have made it more vulnerable to the ongoing global recession. Apparel sales in the US declined by almost 63 per cent year-on-year in May this year, following an 87 per cent fall in April. Retail sales in specialty clothing, fashion, footwear and leather goods stores in the EU27 decreased in March and April, year-on-year, by 55 per cent and 64 per cent. In Spain, these sales declined 90 percent in April, while they declined 38 percent in Sweden.
Sales plummeting hit hard on the retailers. In the United States, five national companies with revenues exceeding 22 billion dollars have submitted bankruptcies to Chapter 11 by the end of May in 2019. And global brands like Gap and Inditex reported substantial operating losses in Q1. The value of US apparel imports declined by 19 percent year-on-year from January to April, and by April alone by a massive 42 per cent. Apparel imports in Europe plummeted by around 13 per cent in the first four months of the year, compared to the same timeframe in 2019. The fall had been 38 per cent year-on-year in April alone.