15 April

The clothing sector recorded JD200 million in losses, as nearly 700 establishments in the clothing and textile sector were closed and 1,600 workers were laid off, according to Jordan’s Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate President Munir Deyyeh.

As a result of the COVID crisis and its consequences such as curfews, lockdowns (especially those on Friday), and the general slowdown in the economy, the clothing sector suffered significant losses, Deyyeh told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

“The losses were spread on many fronts, including high overhead costs for paying shop rentals, employee wages, social security costs, the price of goods and significant drop in sales,” Deyyeh explained.

Losses of the sector are estimated at JD1 million per day, which resulted in the closing of many small and medium-sized shops. “Around 600 to 700 shops have completely shut down in the last year due to the crisis,” Deyyeh said.

Deyyeh indicated that most of the workers who were laid off are those who work on a temporary basis, such as college students, who come during busy seasons to work as part timers to support themselves and their families. These workers had to terminate their contracts because employers were unable to pay wages, according to Deyyeh.

Deyyeh added that closures of other sectors have a detrimental effect on the clothing sector as well. For example, closure of wedding and celebration halls impacted clothing sales strongly.

The syndicate provided the government with several proposals for the Eid season, including amending the hours of the night curfew after the 15th of Ramadan and allowing shops to operate after Iftar (the breaking of fast at sunset) for several hours so that the sector can minimise losses and merchants can sell goods.

“A year has passed since Defence Order No. 6, which was followed by the issuance of a monthly list containing a classification of the sectors most affected, and the clothing sector was among this list throughout that period, with the exception of last August (the period of Eid Al Adha), by virtue of the meager “profits” the merchants achieved in the sector,” the Jordan Labour Watch said in a report posted on its website.