SHANGHAI — Retailers and textile manufacturers said that so far there has been little impact from the worst typhoon to hit China’s Yangtze Delta region in nearly a decade.
This story first appeared in the August 10, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Typhoon Haikui made landfall early Wednesday in Zhejiang Province, a manufacturing epicenter located just south of Shanghai. Economic losses from the storm, which brought torrential rains and winds that downed trees and power lines and sent debris flying through the air, reached an estimated $1.6 billion in Zhejiang, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
More than 1.5 million people were evacuated in Zhejiang and Shanghai in advance of the storm, which caused hundreds of flights to be canceled as well as the closure of high-speed trains and a container-handling port in the region.
Many textile manufacturers in the province were closed for the storm. Keffo Gao, a manager at Zhejiang Allbright Home Textile Co. Ltd., said the typhoon “had little influence” on business. “Some factories may have had some damage, but I don’t think it is a big deal,” she said, adding that they expect some delays in logistics for shipping and receiving orders.
“Transportation will be a little delayed for a couple of days,” she said. “It was a big storm in the province, but the textile industry was not really impacted.”
Manufacturers in Ningbo, a city in Zhejiang, as well as Shanghai also said business was almost back to normal a day after the storm. “The impact is not obvious now,” said Ivan Yang, vice president of Zhejiang Yaoguang Textile Co. Ltd, which is headquartered in Shaoxing, a city near Hangzhou. “There have been no delays in shipments.”
In Shanghai, where state media reported that at least two people had died and another seven were seriously injured from the typhoon, damage was also minimal. A spokeswoman for Bund18, a historic building on the city’s Bund waterfront that is home to brands including Cartier, Zegna and Patek Philippe, said businesses were left unscathed. “Everything is fine,” she said. “We had very good preparation for the typhoon.”
By Wednesday afternoon, photos emerged on Chinese microblogs of the Huangpu River overflowing onto sidewalks and roadways on the Bund.
Godwin Lam, managing director of Trinity Ltd.’s China business, which manages retail operations for men’s wear brands including Cerruti 1881, Kent & Curwen and Gieves & Hawkes, said sales were negligible as consumers stayed home and businesses were closed but that there was otherwise no significant effect.
“The shopping malls and the department stores were quiet,” Lam said. “But not a single one of our stores was damaged fortunately.”