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Douglas Suspends Most European Store Trading Due to COVID-19

The German perfumery chain said the financial impact cannot be quantified at present.

As beauty sellers have been shuttered in Italy for a month and in Paris since Sunday, Douglas GmbH on Tuesday night said that it has suspended store trading in most European markets due to the coronavirus.

The perfumery chain explained the move was made in accordance with the requirements of national governments and regional authorities, and that duration of the closures depends on those. However, Douglas’ mail-order and e-commerce businesses remain operational.

“At the moment, there is no reliable information on the necessity of possible further interventions in operating activities,” Douglas said in a statement. “Douglas is carefully monitoring the developments and is in close contact with the relevant authorities in this rapidly changing environment.”

Douglas said that the economic impact of the suspended store trading cannot be quantified currently, but that the chain has healthy cash reserves and extensive cost measures have been begun to mitigate the impact on earnings.

“The focused continuation of the e-commerce business is helping to cushion part of the impact of the suspended store trading,” the company said. “At the same time, Douglas is considering participation in the announced national and regional aid programs for affected businesses until normal business operations can be resumed.”

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Douglas is Germany’s largest beauty seller and among Europe’s biggest premium retailers of fragrances and cosmetics.

In the first quarter of its most recent fiscal year, ended Dec. 31, 2019, Douglas’ sales rose 6 percent to 1.3 billion euros. The group’s e-commerce business advanced 23.2 percent to 191 million euros in the period.