Detecting industry-level patterns of resilience: a financial analysis of italian SMEs in the fashion industry


fashion; resilience; Made in Italy; Covid 19; crisis; growth

How to Cite

Galavotti, I., D'Este, C., & Fellegara, A. M. (2023). Detecting industry-level patterns of resilience: a financial analysis of italian SMEs in the fashion industry. Piccola Impresa Small Business, (3).
Received 2022-02-01
Accepted 2022-09-14
Published 2023-03-28


Purpose. This paper offers an exploratory analysis of the existence of industry-specific patterns of resilience in the context of the Italian fashion industry, captured through a financial analysis.

Design/methodology/approach. Building on a dataset of 37.052 firms operating in the Italian fashion industry, we adopt an outcome-based approach using financial indicators capturing the profitability, liquidity, and solidity, to assess the existence of recovery patterns. We separately analyze and compare the period after the 2008 global financial crisis (2009-2019) and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (2019-2021) .

Findings. Our findings suggest the existence of industry-specific recovery patterns. Specifically, Italian fashion firms have been able to capitalize on their pre-crisis financial health to increase their investments especially towards new business models and nurture a recovery in profitability. Furthermore, the greater contribution to resilience of SME’s relative to large competitors supports previous findings on the mutual reinforcement mechanism of an industry firms’ networking and financial health. 

Practical and Social implications. From a managerial viewpoint, companies should be aware of the signalling role of financial ratios as drivers of resilience and of the importance of network relationships, in order to exploit their positive effect as intensifiers of financial health and industry resilience. In a policy-making perspective, we suggest the importance of the assessing the industry-specific ability to profitably allocate financial resources in order to identify more effective supporting mechanisms.

Originality of the study. This study contributes to the literature on resilience by extending the outcome-based approach focused on financial ratios to the analysis of industry-level resilience. In doing so, we underscore the importance of using a systemic approach in the assessment of financial health and offer a fine-grained analysis that captures both general industry patterns and sub-industry specificities in a comparative lens.


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