The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound effect on all our lives. Relations between the world of retail and consumers in particular has adapted to a new market demand: there has been a definite shift from “fast-fashion” products to more carefully crafted items. The focus is now also on accessories that can be used in a variety of different ways, and elements that express the personality of the wearer. So it’s out with fleeting fashions and in with hand-made ideas, a new trend that also extends to niche items, small Italian craft concerns and indeed all things Made in Italy.
That all-important relationship of trust between the sales outlet and the end customer is being re-established: this is absolutely essential relationship the process of selecting and choosing the product. It does not end when a particular purchase is completed but becomes a moment of transition that can and must turn into an ongoing relationship of mutual trust.
In this new scenario, HOMI Fashion&Jewels has begun a direct dialogue with those who work in the sector, exploring new and different situations and organising a Retail Round Table, a virtual debate complete with interviews and first-hand accounts of experiences, so that reactions can be shared and market requirements discussed. Participants include Martina Palmese and Nicola Albertoni of QVC Italia, Maria Diana of Atelier Maria Diana, Antonella Bellorio of Avenida 186, Sabrina Marzi of Etrestrore, Chiara Giupponi of Particolarmente, Laura Vedani of Botanic Varese, Giovanna Panizzolo of HS24, and Adriano Petrillo of Annaclelia Caiazza, along with guests Giovanni Micera of Preziosa Magazine and Paola Saltari of Vanity Fair.
While digital technology certainly helped to soften the heavy blow inflicted by Covid-19, providing virtual experiences and continuing with sales online, the actual re-opening of bricks-and-mortar shops can be seen as a breath of fresh air. The desire to get out there, resume activities and set up new relationships of trust are the driving force for retailers and customers in this new period. Initial results are very encouraging, and the way forward looks very promising indeed.