Textile and footwear: there are at least 334 paralyzed local SMEs that ask for help

According to the records of the Ministry of Industry of the Province, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, in Córdoba there are some 334 SMEs dedicated to the manufacture – with retail sale in many cases – of textile products of all kinds (from clothing even curtains) and footwear. Smaller units of self-employment and off-registration can be added to this conglomerate.

In addition to this map, a universe of thousands of retail stores dedicated to the commercialization of “fashion” products is added.

After the quarantine, the sectoral chambers agree that the paralysis in these links has been almost total since March 20, since none of the activities are enabled to produce or sell.

Electronic commerce is an extremely limited way out: a minimum percentage of companies use it and, among those that do, there are serious difficulties in delivering products; Because most of them cannot access their stocks due to the restriction imposed by compulsory isolation.

In this zero-income scenario, the main concern is how to cover April wages.

The debate in the chambers passed, in the face of uncertainty, of the need to apply cuts in the hope that the national State activates new contributions destined to completely cover wages.

The announcement in this regard made, still without clarifications, by the Minister of Productive Development of the Nation, Matías Kulfas, opened expectations.

Aid was the central theme of the conversation held yesterday by the secretary general of the trade union, Pablo Chacón, and the directors of the Chamber of Wholesale Merchants and Industrialists of the province of Córdoba, which brings together 100 companies, including several of the textiles larger premises. “The need is for wages to be paid with that aid. Companies do not have any more weight because they are unemployed, ”said one of the attendees at the meeting, representing the business entity.

Antonio Truisi is a member of the chamber and owner of Monimar Express, a lingerie and corsetry wholesaler with 40 years of experience. “I have 60 employees, excellent people and in many cases of long standing. We have had retirements in these years. To pay the March wages, I got a 24 percent credit with a three-month grace period from the Macro bank. I can not go into debt again, and less with zero income, “he said.

The president of the Chamber of the Footwear Industry of Córdoba, Miguel Hames, affirms that this stop came when the sector was about to start delivering and selling the winter season. “The factories were left with purchased supplies and half-made products,” he explained.

According to Hames, the footwear sector has 120 companies in the province, which directly employ about 1,200 people. With the network of workshops and suppliers, the workers reach 4,500.

“I have 95 percent of the winter season done, I received 40 percent and I managed to sell only five percent before quarantine,” says Marcelo Nasif, managing partner of Conte Calzados, a local brand that manufactures and sells. The company only keeps its store “open” on line, in which he launched new promotions in order to boost sales amid logistical complications.

The Covid-19 crisis cut the entire cycle of textile and shoe production and sales, characterized by working with cycles of anticipation of at least six months and payments with checks at 60 or 90 days. “The textile acquires the fabric in spring and produces in summer the collection that is sold in winter. The retailer bought it for the term in February and this year, just when it was going to sell it, this happened ”, graphs from the sector. That led to a cut in the payment chain and an escalation of bounced checks between factories, suppliers and businesses.

Zero sales: “Stock” stagnant

30 M. It is the number of pairs of footwear already manufactured in the country that cannot be sold, according to the national chamber of the sector. They fear that they will lose validity for other seasons.

Print edition

The original text of this article was published on 04/16/2020 in our printed edition.

Written by Argentina News

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