Berlin - Consumers looking for new clothes can expect heavy price cuts when the shops reopen after months of corona lockdown, say representatives of the fashion retail sector. 

"There will be 80 to 90 per cent discounts on many goods, so that the accumulated merchandise can still be sold," Rolf Pangels, chief executive at the Federal Association of the Textile Retail Trade (BTE), told the Rheinische Post on Saturday.

He said spring collections will probably also be heavily discounted. "This is going to burden us for the whole year," Pangels said. If the lockdown is extended even further than expected, he said even more shops will be devastated by the pandemic

Other industry insiders have already predicted "discount battles" once brick and mortar shops are allowed to welcome customers once more. According to earlier estimates by the BTE, half a billion unsold fashion items piled up in stores by the end of January and most of those are winter goods that are losing value day by day as spring approaches.

The Berlin government says it is devising a step-by-step plan to reopen retail, bars and restaurants and culture venues once the 7-day incidence rate falls below 35.

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