Women's Wear Daily

COVID-19 Seen Wiping Out 50 Percent of Brazil’s Fashion Sales

MEXICO CITY — Brazil’s fashion retailers are forecasting a 50 percent sales decline, if not more, this year as the coronavirus pandemic forces them to shutter stores. “We are expecting 50 percent across the board,” said Luis Lima, chief financial officer at luxury beachwear brand Lenny Niemeyer, adding that lockdowns in top cities including São Paulo and Rio have forced thousands of stores to shutter. Lima’s comments came as analysts are expecting similar losses for top retailers such as Lojas Renner, Riachuelo and Magazine Luiza, all of which are rushing to boost e-commerce offerings to offset plunging brick-and-mortar traffic. Andrea Milanez, who handles public relations for São Paulo Fashion Week, said physical fashion retail is dead. “All of Brazil is closed and the only stuff that’s selling is online,” she said. “Everyone is doing sales but even then, no one is buying. People are worried about what is happening.” Brazil is quickly becoming a hotspot for the deadly respiratory disease, with deaths topping 3,500 out of 53,000 cases over the past weekend. While President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the ailment, calling it “a little worse than a flu” and demanding regions lift lockdowns, they are expected to continue, at least until May 10 in

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