Burberry says coronavirus impact “more serious” than Hong Kong protests

Burberry store closures coronavirus Marco Gobbetti Julie Brown
Burberry warned investors the outbreak was having a "material negative effect" on demand for luxury products
// Burberry closes 24 of 64 stores in China due to coronavirus outbreak
// Burberry shares opened down more than 2% on Friday morning

Burberry has closed 24 of its 64 stores in mainland China as the coronavirus outbreak continues to raise fears.

The luxury retailer said the store closures are a result of taking action to ensure that staff remain safe.

However, it warned investors that the outbreak was having a “material negative effect” on demand for luxury products.


Burberry chief financial officer Julie Brown said the situation for Burberry stores in Hong Kong is “more serious than the protests”.

Burberry shares opened down more than two per cent on Friday morning.

Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti said: “While we cannot currently predict how long this situation will last, we remain confident in our strategy.”

“In the meantime, we are taking mitigating actions and every precaution to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees.

“We are extremely grateful for the incredible effort of our teams and our immediate thoughts are with the people directly impacted by this global health emergency.”

Burberry is not the only retailer to be impacted from the affects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this week, Apple shut all 42 of its stores in China for at least eight days as a result of the spreading virus, while denim retailer Levi’s shut about half of its stores in China due to the outbreak.

Nike also temporarily shut down half of its stores in China.

Last week, the value of the FTSE 100 dropped by £44 billion and luxury retail groups saw their shares drop as coronavirus fears continued to impact trading.

Luxury groups such as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), Christian Dior, Hermes and Gucci owner Kering – all reliant on Chinese demand – saw their shares drop earlier this week.

LVMH shares were down 2.49 per cent in early trading, while Kering and Richemont stocks were trading more than three per cent lower on Monday morning.

Michael Kors parent company Capri Holdings warned on Thursday morning that the coronavirus outbreak could result in a $100 million (£77 million) hit to revenue.

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