Coronavirus: LVMH & Kering take u-turn on gov’t assistance plan

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LVMH Kering Louis Vuitton furlough
The decision was backtracked last week
// LVMH & Kering told staff they’d be placed on an emergency government assistance scheme but has since backtracked
// The decision was reversed after smaller rivals said they would cope without gov’t support

LVMH and Kering have reportedly backtracked on telling employees they would be placed on an emergency government assistance scheme amid the Covid-19 crisis, after witnessing smaller rivals Hermes and Chanel pledge to cope without state support.

Soon after France went in lockdown on March 15, LVMH began to put some employees on the French government’s “partial activity” scheme across its various businesses, Financial Times reported.

France has ramped up its efforts to prop up its economy in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, and its new government scheme allows companies to put workers on reduced hours or furlough them while it manages most of their salaries in a bid to avoid any redundancies.


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LVMH’s Louis Vuitton workers were among those informed in March that they would be put on the government programme, only to have the decision backtracked last week.

During the pandemic, LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault and Kering chief executive François-Henri Pinault have remained strong competitors and both have donated money and resources to the fight against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, privately-owned Chanel said on March 28 that it did not intend to use the “partial activity” aid programme at this stage during the pandemic.

Fellow luxury brand Hermes, which is also family-controlled, went further on April 1 by pledging to maintain the salaries of its 15,500 employees globally.

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