Stella McCartney Reportedly Furloughs Staff Under UK’s Government Protection Scheme

Stella McCartney is reportedly making use of the United Kingdom’s furlough scheme as the country remains under lockdown.

The West London-based high-end fashion label has placed hundreds of its employees on furlough under the British government’s furlough scheme, according to multiple reports. Through the scheme, 80% of workers’ salaries are covered by the government. Stella McCartney employees about 1,400 staff at 51 stores internationally. A representative for the label did not immediately reply to FN’s request for comment.

Founded in 2001 by its namesake designer, Stella McCartney is known for its cruelty-free designs and focus on sustainability. The label announced a deal to align with LVMH, parent to Louis Vuitton, Dior and Fenty, in July 2019. Prior to that, LVMH rival Kering — the umbrella group behind labels such as Gucci and Bottega Veneta — owned a 50% stake in Stella McCartney.

Meanwhile, McCartney is not the only British designer reported to have furloughed workers. On Monday, a representative from the London-based Victoria Beckham brand confirmed to FN that some of its employees had been placed on leave under the U.K.’s furlough scheme.

“We are working hard to ensure our much-valued VB team are protected during this unsettled time by keeping our business healthy. Having carefully assessed all our options, we have made the decision to furlough a proportion of staff on an enhanced package,” the spokesperson said.

Brands across the luxury sector are preparing for a sizable dent in sales because of the coronavirus, which has forced store closures in North America and Europe and caused panicked shoppers to slash spending on nonessential goods. According to several analyst reports, sales of high-end goods are set to fall this year by between 20% to 30%. These declines are fueled by sliding tourism as well as decreased millennial and Gen Z spending power, according to RCB Europe.


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