// Gucci has temporarily shut down its factories in Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak
// Rival LVMH said it will continue to operate as normal
// Gucci has been encouraging its office employees to adopt flexible working practices
Gucci has put its manufacturing activities on hold in Italy following the lockdown as it takes precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Retailers in Italy saw their stores shut when Italy’s lockdown measures were put into action earlier this week to prevent the spread of the virus.
“This is a challenge that puts a strain on the national health system but also our economy,” Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte said.
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Kering’s flagship brand Gucci has six production sites between Tuscany and Marche.
“As a precaution to protect public health, the factories will remain closed until March 20, but activities essential to the maintenance of our business will continue,” Kering said.
“This temporary closure will not affect the supply of our products to clients.”
Over the last few days, Gucci has been encouraging its office employees to adopt flexible working practices.
All of its Italian stores are closed until April 3, but the retailer said customers can still access the website for customer support service.
Meanwhile, rival fashion group LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, has no current plans to abandon operations.
“Naturally measures have been taken to protect workers by having fewer people working together, but with more shift changes,” LVMH said.
LVMH currently employs some 11,000 people in Italy, and operates 30 production sites.
Giorgio Armani closed its factories in northern Italy for a week at the end of February in order to disinfect them, but operations have since started up again.
The government’s decision to allow factories and other manufacturing activities to continue their operations, while whole sectors of the economy, such as commerce, have been halted, has not been well received by workers.
On Thursday, the day after the introduction of the stricter measures, a number of spontaneous strikes occurred throughout the country.
Last month, Kering said it remains confident in its longer-term growth expectations despite “uncertain conditions” brought on by the coronavirus outbreak in China.
The spread of Covid-19 in Italy has escalated in recent days, with its diagnosis count making it the worst affected country in Europe and the second worst globally, after China.
Italy is also home to various luxury fashion houses, such as Prada, Versace, Gucci and Armani, while the northern city of Milan is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world.
The global luxury retail sector suffered as a result of stores closing from the coronavirus outbreak across China since the start of the year, and questions have been raised as to how it will impact retailers that trade in Italy – both local and international.
While the UK has not implemented such dramatic measures, the market remains precarious as Brits choose to stay home.