// Vans owner VF Corp closes 60% of stores in China
// The stores that are currently open have experienced a significant decline in footfall
Vans owner VF Corporation has temporarily closed 60 per cent of its stores in China due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The retail group, which also owns Timberland, said the stores that are currently open have experienced a significant decline in footfall.
“The safety and well-being of our associates and partners in China is our highest priority. Our thoughts are with those people affected by the coronavirus,” VF Corp chairman, president and chief executive Steve Rendle said.
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“While the coronavirus will impact our financial results in the Asia Pacific region in the near term, VF’s growth opportunity in China and across the Asia Pacific region is significant and the fundamentals of our business are strong.
“VF is well positioned to navigate the impact of the coronavirus situation given the diversity of our business and operating model in other key geographies.”
VF Corp said 16 per cent of its total cost of goods sold is sourced directly from mainland China, of which seven per cent is bound for the US market.
The company has become the latest to close down stores in China.
Burberry closed 24 of its 64 stores in mainland China as the coronavirus outbreak continued to raise fears on Friday morning.
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.