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Italian fashion brands ask for rent suspesions

By Kristopher Fraser

27 Mar 2020

Confindustria Moda, an organization representing the Italian fashion industry, has asked commercial premises landlords to put lease payments on hold for retailers. The appeal was due to the coronavirus crisis, which has left Italy as one of the hardest hit countries in the world by the global pandemic. Total number of cases in Italy are only surpassed by the U.S. and China.

All non-essential business activities are on hold until April 3, when the country will reassess opening. “The concern is that the date for the [stores’] re-opening will be further pushed back and that, as a result, the companies we represent will not start selling again, while still having to pay their commercial rents in full,” said Confindustria Moda president Claudio Marenzi in a statement.

April 3 is next week, and while Italy's rates of infection are slowing, the country will have to assess whether or not their healthcare system can handle any rates of new infections should they occur. Italy's healthcare system was crippled by the coronavirus with a shortage of ventilators and lack of hospital space leaving some patients to die.

The health situation has left the country with literally zero dollars in retail revenue, as there are neither residential shoppers or tourists to be found, and non-essential businesses can't open. Marenzi is asking landlords to suspend payments until stores reopen again.

Over 50 companies signed Confindustria Moda's letter to landlords with brands ranging from Moncler to Corneliani. Confindustria Moda represents a total of 66,000 companies who generated 95.5 billion dollars in revenue for the country.

Even if Italy's rate of infections continue to level out, an April 3 restart date for their economy is looking unlikely. Quarantine could be expected for another several weeks as the government takes measures to make sure citizens are better safe than sorry.

Confindustria Moda