“We are aware of an employee coronavirus (COVID-19) case. Out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a deep cleaning of the [European headquarters] campus,” a Nike spokesperson wrote. “All EHQ buildings and facilities will be closed until Wednesday.”
The European headquarters is home to about 2,000 Nike employees from roughly 80 countries. As of Sunday, 10 cases of coronavirus had been recorded in the Netherlands.
As Nike’s European HQ temporarily shutters, its Beaverton, Ore. world headquarters are reopening this week after closing this weekend for a deep cleaning. The measure was taken in reaction to reports of a coronavirus case in the nearby area of Lake Oswego, although no employees were known to have been exposed, according to a Nike representative.
The novel coronavirus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected more than 89,000 people across 58 countries, with the death toll climbing to upwards of 3,000 as of Monday. While most of the infections have been recorded in mainland China, last week saw a spike in cases outside of the country, particularly in Iran, Italy and South Korea. The first American death from coronavirus was confirmed on Saturday in Washington State.
Heightened coronavirus fears sent U.S. stock markets across the board into a spiral last week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all down more than 15% from February highs by week’s end. Any gains for 2020 were wiped out.
Several fashion and footwear firms — including Nike as well as Crocs, Wolverine World Wide and Skechers — have warned of potential negative financial impacts due to coronavirus. In February, the Swoosh issued a statement warning that about half of its stores had been closed in China, and that the stores which remained open were cutting back hours and seeing lower foot traffic. While he warned of the potential for decreased earnings, new CEO John Donahoe noted that “dynamics continue to evolve.”
“Nike’s long-term opportunity to continue to serve consumers in Greater China with inspiration and innovation remains exceedingly strong. At the same time, we continue to have extraordinary brand and business momentum in all other geographies,” he said in a statement.
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