// Nike closes half its stores in China temporarily due to coronavirus fears
// It will operate the remainder of its stores in the country with reduced hours
Nike has temporarily shut down half of its stores in China as the coronavirus outbreak continues to raise fears.
The sportswear retailer will continue to operate the remainder of its stores in the country with reduced hours.
Nike said it expects a “material impact” on its operations in Greater China in the short term.
”First and foremost, our thoughts are with the people affected and we remain focused on the health and safety of our teammates and partners,” Nike president and chief executive John Donahoe said.
“Despite this difficult situation, 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.”
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.
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.
British luxury retailer Burberry was also exposed to a drop-off in Chinese demand.
In the same week, health and beauty retailer Boots reported a surge in demand for face masks in the UK.
On Boots’ website, a six-pack of “safe & sound” surgical face masks is sold out, with a note saying they will not be receiving any further stock.
Amazon and B&Q were also among retailers that told customers their face masks were out of stock due to the virus outbreak.