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


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, owner of GQ Fashions Good Menswear, looks over inventory inside of the keep in advance of reopening in May perhaps 2020 immediately after currently being pressured to near in the course of the early times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two yrs ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic built its very first effect the state of Oklahoma, Andy Mahbubani experienced to quickly shut down his family’s clothes retailer.

GQ Fashions Fantastic Menswear invested the full month of April 2020 briefly shut since of the pandemic and Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Safer at Dwelling plan that shuttered nonessential organization.

When he reopened, Mahbubani worried that the company wouldn’t have the identical stage of achievements as ahead of the shutdown the previous two yrs saw double-digit development, but GQ Fashions’ company model relies seriously on dressing its customers for events like weddings, prom and church solutions. The pandemic struck the gatherings field just as difficult, or even more challenging, than the cafe business enterprise.

But two years later, the shop at NW 23 and Interstate 44 is nonetheless open up. And according to Mahbubani, it’s been chaotic.

“We’ve noticed an uptick in conditions of people today heading again to activities, likely to functions, weddings, people are beginning to get married again. So yeah, we are carrying out really effectively basically,” he stated.

It took a number of months for organization to select back again up as people felt a lot more comfortable with huge gatherings.

The good thing is for Mahbubani, GQ Fashions by no means had the staffing problems that other firms experienced throughout 2020 and 2021. But a person problem he’s run into continually is a single that is getting felt across the entire world — delays in the provide chain.

China exported nearly $40 billion worthy of of textiles to the United States in advance of the pandemic brands there often provide the brand names found in GQ Fashions.

“A thing as easy as a black match or white shirt, you know, had been coming really challenging to come across,” Mahbubani claimed.

He is tried to mitigate individuals issues by getting far more than he needs each time he has the likelihood. That’s led to an overstock of 30-40%.

“In truth, I am storing stuff in storage units and warehouses. We’re applying whatever sources we can to make confident we have the basic merchandise that people today have to have,” Mahbubani mentioned. “They say ‘make the hay when the sunlight shines,’ suitable? So when we can get items, we get as a lot as we can.”

There is certainly no sign that the source chain problems will end anytime shortly. Alongside with the lingering effects of the initially significant wave of coronavirus that swept via China, shuttering factories and delaying shipments globally, another spherical of infections this yr has triggered a lot more shutdowns in the state with stringent lockdown policies employed for that contains the virus.

For illustration this month, China requested a lockdown of the 9 million inhabitants of the northeastern city of Changchun amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the location attributed to the hugely contagious omicron variant.

“The people today in the cloth factory are functioning making fabric. The individuals in the accommodate factory are functioning generating fits. But you won’t be able to get buttons because the province the place the buttons are built is shut down,” he said. “In actuality, a whole lot of our suppliers and distributors are on the lookout for approaches to get out of China at this point due to the fact they are pretty rigid on their lockdowns.”

Team author Dale Denwalt addresses Oklahoma’s overall economy and enterprise information for The Oklahoman. Have a story concept for Dale? He can be arrived at at [email protected] or on Twitter at @denwalt. Assist Dale’s get the job done and that of other Oklahoman journalists by obtaining a electronic subscription these days at subscribe.oklahoman.com.

This report initially appeared on Oklahoman: Pandemic’s result on supply chain lingers for OKC clothes retailer



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