Southeast Asia: Eid Fashion in the Time of COVID-19

This year’s Eid fashion was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in Southeast Asia where the festivity is widely celebrated. Along with slower demand, supply chain disruptions also impeded brands’ ability produce a high number of newness. This report investigates the pandemic’s full impact on Eid fashion in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Written by Atiqah KamarudinJune 29, 2020

Introduction

Key Insights

  • Disruption to Markdown Timing: Retailers carried out more markdowns earlier to satiate demand.
  • Renewed Interest: Consumer confidence rose during Ramadan with sell-out peaking just a week before Eid.
  • Opposing Styles: The Malaysian market showed a preference towards classic, minimal styles while Indonesia showed continued interest in elaborate designs.

 

This year’s Eid was unlike any other with coronavirus affecting many brands, including the Malaysian “it” label Mimpikita. Its sales reportedly dropped by half – a rare occurrence, as the Eid-al Fitr festival typically brings in 90% of the year’s sales for the brand. This scenario had not only hit the local brands but also transpired in the UAE, with declining need for suhoor outfits. However, some managed to withstand the heat brought on by the pandemic.

This report aims to uncover how the coronavirus affected Eid trading and the styles preferred by consumers in Malaysia and Indonesia for Eid 2020.

Over 80,000 data points were screened from February 10 – May 24, 2020 (14 weeks leading up to Eid) across the women’s ethnicwear category on multilabel e-tailers Zalora and FashionValet.

 

All data used in this report comes from products retailing online as tracked by Omnilytics, unless otherwise mentioned.

content image-2 Southeast Asia: Eid Fashion in the Time of COVID-19

Trade Performance in Malaysia

Delayed Launch

Similar to last year, Zalora launched its Eid 2020 collections as early as 3.5 months ahead of the festival. The retailer’s in-house label Lubna was among the first to launch on the site. However, most collections were delayed this year, launching 6 weeks before Eid compared to 10 -13 weeks in 2019.

FashionValet also experienced delayed launches this year, peaking at just 3 weeks before Eid.

Short-Lived Demand

Total sell-out hit the highest level in mid-March but later slowed, as the government implemented the movement control order (MCO) on March 18. However, consumer interest picked up again during Ramadan, as confirmed by Giulio Xiloyannis, CCO of Zalora. The Eid 2020 collections on its site were well received, showing an uplift of 27% YoY, despite the shorter selling window.

Meanwhile, FashionValet saw a boost in sell-out during Ramadan but only recorded single-digit growth for this year’s collection. The retailer also experienced a massive 48% decrease in total sell-out YoY.

Reduced SKUs

FashionValet observed a staggering reduction in its new arrivals (-56%) compared to last year with 44% fewer brands retailing on the site (Chart 2).

Although Zalora’s newness increased this year, some prominent brands including Afiq M, Alia B. and Rico Rinaldi were noticeably missing on the platform.

content image-3 Southeast Asia: Eid Fashion in the Time of COVID-19

Trade Performance in Indonesia

Last-Minute Shopping

A downturn in consumer spending was apparent between late-March and mid-April, as the government declared a state of emergency and rolled out large-scale social distancing. Despite the restrictions, Zalora managed to achieve double-digit growth from last year in total sell-out.

Sell-out peaked just a week before the festivity, indicating Indonesian consumers’ preference for last-minute shopping. This buying behaviour was also observed last year, as sell-out started gaining momentum a month before Eid.

Declining Newness

The Eid 2020 collections in Indonesia were launched as early as 3.5 months out from Eid, which was similar to last year. However, this year’s new arrivals saw a significant drop much earlier – 2 months before the festival. In contrast, the volume of newness launched last year was more consistent until a month before Eid.

content image-4 Southeast Asia: Eid Fashion in the Time of COVID-19

Pricing Strategy

Overall, the Eid 2020 collections on Zalora were launched at reduced prices. The respective staple outfits in Malaysia and Indonesia saw an average of 13% and 6% decline in price compared to last year.

Collection Size-Led Strategy

Two different approaches that were led by SKU count were seen at brands on Zalora during the pandemic.

Brands that exercised reductions in price were able to use their wide assortments to remain competitive. Lubna, Zalia, Klambi KL and NH by Nurita Harith of Malaysia increased new-ins YoY but at 4%-17% reductions in price. Indonesian homegrown brand, Icon also executed the same strategy by reducing its prices by 20%. The brand recorded a massive increase in its new arrivals this year by 129% YoY.

Meanwhile, Yans Creation, Zoe Arissa and Rizalman for Zalora observed higher prices in response to a lower intake this year. Bibiq from Indonesia, raised its prices by 44% to compensate for its tighter assortment.

content image-5 Southeast Asia: Eid Fashion in the Time of COVID-19

Discounting Strategy

Discounting became a common practice in March as lockdown was imposed on both markets. Consequently, ethnicwear saw a greater contribution to discounted products compared to last year.

There were two different approaches to discounting amidst the pandemic.

Early Discounting

Brands typically started to impose markdown during the fasting month, as seen in 2019. However, the number of discounted products started increasing following the MCO to satiate demand, peaking at 44% in contribution in April. Although there was a notable increase in discounted products, the depth of discount was shallow and levelled last year at 25% off.

Aggressive Markdown

In the unusual conditions of the pandemic, other brands opted to use the festive period to clear out old stock. Malaysian homegrown brand Afiq M did not produce any ready-to-wear collection this year but did a clearance sale on its previous collections. It reduced all the items to a flat price of USD35 from USD100-140 on its site. The move only resulted in 25% sell-out rate for its 2019 collection.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian market saw a more aggressive discounting strategy in response to soft demand. The percentage of discounted products peaked at 80% in 2020 vs. 65% in 2019.

content image-5 Southeast Asia: Eid Fashion in the Time of COVID-19

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Meet the Author

Atiqah Kamarudin

Nur Atiqah Kamarudin is a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Omnilytics. With past experience at Nielsen and Euromonitor, she has spent years analysing data and unearthing insights to help brands and retailers make informed decisions. She currently produces reports on the fashion industry and its changing retail scene across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Southeast Asia.

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