The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the retail industry, forcing many businesses to close their doors and face financial challenges. However, Mango, a popular clothing brand, has managed to navigate these difficult times and come out on top. The CEO of Mango, Toni Ruiz, recently discussed how the company was able to weather the storm and even find success amidst the pandemic.

Just over a year ago, Mango was celebrating record annual results and a positive momentum. Unfortunately, the Spanish government’s mandate to close all retail activity due to the pandemic quickly disrupted these achievements. Mango had to close its 400 Spanish stores, followed by the closure of most of its European stores. This sudden halt in operations posed a significant challenge for the company.

Despite the obstacles, Ruiz emphasized the resilience of the Mango team and the various factors that contributed to their ability to overcome the pandemic. These factors included strategic product positioning, commercial efforts, a gradual reduction in retail and logistics investment, and the growth of e-commerce. Despite the challenging circumstances, Mango has been able to maintain revenue levels similar to industry leaders and has continued with its transformation initiatives.

Initially, Mango experienced a major decline in sales between March and June, with a 70% shortfall in revenue. However, the brand quickly recovered, starting in July, due to discounts and a revised commercial strategy. By the end of the year, Mango was only 6% below its previous year’s results and has since nearly achieved the same level of success. E-commerce played a vital role in supporting Mango’s sales, with a remarkable 36% increase in sales in 2020.

To safeguard the company’s financial stability and liquidity during the pandemic, Mango implemented various measures. This included cost-saving initiatives, non-renewal of temporary employment contracts, rent renegotiation, and securing a loan from a Spanish state lender. Despite the challenges, Mango was able to reduce net bank debt for the fifth consecutive year and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its business.

Looking ahead, Mango has several projects in the works to expand and adapt to changing market preferences. For instance, the brand will integrate its Violeta line into the main Mango collection and introduce a line of home decoration products. Additionally, Mango is partnering with other brands to offer a diverse range of products and services on its e-commerce platform.

When discussing Mango’s workforce, Ruiz emphasized the company’s commitment to job security and its plans to create an agile and innovative working environment through the establishment of the Mango Campus. However, he acknowledged the challenges of attracting talented personnel, particularly in the IT field, where competition for skilled professionals is fierce.

Ruiz also highlighted the importance of collaboration and alliances within the industry. He emphasized the need for sustainability initiatives and industry-wide efforts to address the inflation levels of sustainable fabrics and raw materials.

In terms of its future plans, Mango is focusing on e-commerce and adapting to changing consumer preferences. Ruiz is confident that the brand can generate €1 billion in online sales in 2021. While physical stores will continue to be important assets, Mango aims to transform them into experiential venues that offer a seamless online and offline shopping experience. Ruiz expressed optimism about the future of physical stores, believing that people will once again embrace in-person shopping.

In conclusion, Mango has proven itself to be a resilient and adaptable brand amidst the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The ability to maintain revenue levels and prioritize e-commerce and sustainability demonstrates the brand’s dedication to success in the post-pandemic era. The hard work and determination of the Mango team have played a crucial role in securing the brand’s future. With its focus on expansion, innovation, and providing a seamless shopping experience, Mango is well-positioned to thrive in the evolving retail landscape.

Useful links:
Mango official website
Reuters article on Mango’s online sales during the pandemic