The suspension of face-to-face classes in the country’s schools, a measure that these days is being replicated by several cities in the face of the increase in infections due to covid-19, is a cause for concern not only among those who work in the sector, but also in business associated with classroom education.
“We have 200 vehicles linked to school transportation. That means that 200 drivers and 200 monitors were left without work. This has almost led us to bankruptcy ”, commented Giovanny Osorio, director of the Cotraespeciales company.
Like this one, Liliana Leal, the executive director of the People union, in which 4,000 special transport vehicles are grouped nationwide, says that the impact has been generalized and it is estimated that at least 25,000 families would be negatively impacted.
(Read this article from Portfolio Magazine: The drama of education)
In addition, he adds that another aggravating factor is that These vehicles had as a second entry option tourist routes, which continue to intermittently due to the new restrictions.
Another of the sectors that traditionally at this time presents an increase in sales is the manufacturing through activities such as the manufacture of textiles and the manufacture of uniforms and footwear.
“The fact that children continue studying from home will have harmful effects on the manufacturing industry and on trade. It is important to note that according to the figures recorded by the Follow Up firm, we saw that the children’s fashion sector fell by 85% ”, highlighted Camilo Rodríguez, president of the Colombian Chamber of Clothing and Related Products.
On the footwear side, Gerardo Benavidez, a collegiate shoe dealer in San Victorino, argues that the season of calendar B, in September, was practically not felt and that of A, from this time, could not be exploited either.
“In January this sale corresponds to 45% of the month. In the absence of it, we will have great consequences. In December we had managed to reach 52% sales, but today we register July, 15%, ”he said.
(You may be interested: School closings would be expensive for the economy)
Without children attending schools, the drop in demand for items such as backpacks is also a reality. However, Mónica Bonilla, director of Corporate Affairs at Totto, says that they are aware of the situation in the country and that is why the strategy has focused on understanding consumers and expanding their portfolio with desk organizers, chairs and modular boards.
“For Comercial Papelera it has been difficult to cope with the pandemic. We specialize in more than 90% in educational elements and without a doubt the fact that there is no attendance to the classrooms prevents consumption. In the last year, more than 50% of sales have been affected, due to temporary closures. But without changing the identity of the business, we are starting an innovation ”, argued the company.
Lucía de la Pava, manager of the textile, home and seasonal business of Grupo Éxito explained, for her part, that some items such as notebooks, and categories such as school clothing, would have “less penetration. Before the covid, the segment represented 65% of sales for the year.
And to the previous ones, finally, the impact of school cafeterias and restaurants is added, who are paralyzed.
Maria Camila Perez Godoy