August 12, 2022

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For GQ Fashions in OKC, business is back, but pandemic’s effect on supply chain lingers

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Andy Mahbubani, owner of GQ Fashions Fine Menswear, looks over inventory inside the store before reopening in May 2020 after being forced to close during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andy Mahbubani, operator of GQ Fashions Good Menswear, appears more than inventory within the retail outlet ahead of reopening in May well 2020 just after currently being compelled to near in the course of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two yrs ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic created its to start with affect the condition of Oklahoma, Andy Mahbubani had to briefly shut down his family’s clothing retailer.

GQ Fashions High-quality Menswear spent the entire month of April 2020 quickly shut due to the fact of the pandemic and Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Safer at Residence policy that shuttered nonessential small business.

When he reopened, Mahbubani apprehensive that the business would not have the same level of good results as right before the shutdown the previous two yrs observed double-digit expansion, but GQ Fashions’ small business model depends closely on dressing its clients for gatherings like weddings, prom and church providers. The pandemic struck the situations industry just as hard, or even more difficult, than the cafe company.

But two decades afterwards, the retail store at NW 23 and Interstate 44 is nonetheless open up. And according to Mahbubani, it really is been hectic.

“We’ve found an uptick in conditions of persons likely again to activities, heading to get-togethers, weddings, persons are starting off to get married all over again. So yeah, we are executing rather well in fact,” he mentioned.

It took a handful of months for small business to decide back again up as men and women felt additional comfy with big gatherings.

Luckily for us for Mahbubani, GQ Fashions hardly ever experienced the staffing troubles that other firms knowledgeable throughout 2020 and 2021. But 1 dilemma he’s operate into continuously is one that’s staying felt across the planet — delays in the offer chain.

China exported just about $40 billion truly worth of textiles to the United States just before the pandemic suppliers there generally supply the models identified in GQ Fashions.

“A thing as very simple as a black fit or white shirt, you know, were being coming pretty challenging to locate,” Mahbubani said.

He’s tried to mitigate all those troubles by paying for a lot more than he requirements every time he has the prospect. That’s led to an overstock of 30-40%.

“In actuality, I’m storing things in storage units and warehouses. We’re applying what ever methods we can to make absolutely sure we have the fundamental products that individuals require,” Mahbubani stated. “They say ‘make the hay when the sunshine shines,’ right? So when we can get merchandise, we acquire as much as we can.”

You will find no indicator that the provide chain challenges will finish anytime before long. Together with the lingering outcomes of the initially big wave of coronavirus that swept by way of China, shuttering factories and delaying shipments around the world, a further spherical of bacterial infections this 12 months has activated much more shutdowns in the region with strict lockdown policies made use of for containing the virus.

For example this month, China requested a lockdown of the 9 million citizens of the northeastern metropolis of Changchun amid a spike in COVID-19 circumstances in the region attributed to the extremely contagious omicron variant.

“The individuals in the cloth factory are operating earning material. The men and women in the go well with factory are functioning earning fits. But you can’t get buttons because the province exactly where the buttons are produced is shut down,” he stated. “In simple fact, a great deal of our manufacturers and distributors are seeking for approaches to get out of China at this issue since they are quite strict on their lockdowns.”

Staff author Dale Denwalt addresses Oklahoma’s economic system and enterprise news for The Oklahoman. Have a tale strategy for Dale? He can be attained at [email protected] or on Twitter at @denwalt. Guidance Dale’s perform and that of other Oklahoman journalists by getting a digital subscription currently at subscribe.oklahoman.com.

This article initially appeared on Oklahoman: Pandemic’s impact on offer chain lingers for OKC garments keep

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