With countrywide lockdowns now taking hold in France, Chanel became the latest luxury brand to halt production on Wednesday. The Parisian powerhouse said it closing factories in France, Italy and Switzerland for two weeks.
The move follows Gucci’s decision last week to shut manufacturing sites in Italy’s Tuscany and Marche regions through March 20 as the country continues to be devastated by coronavirus.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) also reported that Hermès is shutting down nearly all of its 42 French factories temporarily.
For its part, Chanel said it took the action “in accordance with the latest government instructions.” French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that citizens must stay home or 15 days.
“Chanel took the decision, in accordance with the latest government instructions, to close the entirety of its production sites in France, Italy and Switzerland [watchmaking] as well as its haute couture, ready-to-wear, métiers d’art and jewelry,” the company said, noting that some distribution sites are still active with minimal employee presence.
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Meanwhile, some French players are using factory resources to make hand sanitizer.
LMVH announced on Sunday that production facilities across its cosmetics branch, including Parfums Christian Dior, Parfums Givenchy and Guerlain, would start to manufacture “large quantities” of hydro-alcoholic gel this week. The disinfectant will be delivered to the French authorities at no cost.
“Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus,” the company wrote in a statement. “LVMH will continue to honor this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities.”
Hermès is also keeping one of its perfume factories open so it can assist with hand sanitizer production, AFP said. — With contributions from Mimosa Spencer