Impact of the Coronavirus on the Promo Industry

  • Feb 21, 2020

By Christina Fiebich, Marketing Director


According to The Guardian (2/19/20), the recovery rate from the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China is between 15% and 40% depending on the province.  Of the total 74,185 reported cases, the death toll has risen to 2,009.  The global concern for the loss of life and the potential spread of this pandemic aside, sourcing from China is becoming more and more difficult. 


Due to the nature of the virus, the CDC continues to claim that there is a very low risk that it could spread through shipping containers, products, or packaging.  So, we don’t need to fear contamination through imported goods.  However, Chinese factory disruptions are ongoing.  To limit the spread, the Chinese government has put limitations on the number of people who can congregate to decrease the spread.  So as factories begin reopening, they are and will be, doing so with limited staffing.  All of this is pushing shipments further behind schedule than early projections showed.


The timing couldn’t be worse coming right off the tail of Chinese New Year.  While QRG proactively works with suppliers to ramp up production to cover our stock supply needs during this annual national celebration, it will not be enough to cover the supply issues we anticipate on all our branded merchandise and identity apparel options.   


To help limit the impact on your organization, we ask that you work with us to proactively place orders now that you normally might have held off with until next quarter.  We’ll continue to diligently provide you with the product you requested, but understand we may need to recommend alternatives from factories outside of China.  And at times, we may recommend airfreight to ensure on-time delivery.


Feel free to reach out to us to discuss ways we can limit the impact this illness has on your business.