The coronavirus outbreak has already had a big impact on the stock market and now it’s hitting closer to home for some Iowans.
The manager of the “Heart to Heart” boutique in North Liberty tells KCRG TV the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the prom dress supply — which all have one thing in common. “I would almost say all of it comes from China,” boutique manager Rochelle Jeffers says. The American Bridal and Prom Industry Association reports about 80 percent of Western-style wedding dresses are made in China.
While Heart to Heart’s bridal dress supply hasn’t been affected much by shutdowns in Chinese factories — the prom dress supply has. “They stopped cutting the dresses, so they don’t make them anymore, so whatever is in stock is all that we can order,” Jeffers says. University of Iowa business analytics professor, Jennifer Blackhurst tells KCRG TV it’s not just the formal gown industry that’s feeling the ripple effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
“So much comes out of China these days that I think we’re going to see just about every industry impacted by this,” Blackhurst says. Blackhurst said that impact is heightened by how interconnected international supply chains are. “If a company here doesn’t have a direct supplier, let’s say, in China, they might have a supplier in China, and so I think over the long term, I think we’re going to see a more severe impact over time,” Blackhurst says.
Blackhurst said this situation is further complicated because no one knows how severe it’ll become or how long it’ll last. The staff at Heart to Heart has taken calls from other bridal boutiques, asking if Heart to Heart has dresses in stock that they can’t order from China right now. J
effers hopes her store — and her brides — avoid a similar fate. “I think the last three days, I’ve called about multiple dresses, just making sure that we are getting them the same date that they told me before,” she says. The massive quarantines China has put in place following the outbreak of the coronavirus have halted production on a host of goods — and caused a downward trend in the stock market each of the last two days.