Rendering of Chanel's Verneuil-en-Halatte production site

PARIS — As activities come to a grinding halt across Europe, Chanel has stopped production and is progressively shutting sites in France, Italy and Switzerland for two weeks, the luxury group said on Wednesday. 

Chanel took the decision, in accordance with the latest government instructions, to close the entirety of its production sites in France, Italy and Switzerland [watchmaking] as well as its haute couture, ready-to-wear, métiers d’art and jewelry,” it said.

“Production is halted,” Chanel said. Some distribution sites are functioning with minimal worker presence, with extra measures to protect employees’ health and security, the company added. For some production sites, the closures may be partial, due to the need for a minimal presence for security reasons.

The luxury house pledged to pay all of its workers during the period, and those who can are working remotely.

Hermès International is also shutting French production sites through the end of March, according to Agence France Presse, which cited an internal letter to employees from chief executive officer Axel Dumas. The company has not responded to a request for comment.

Luxury watchmakers Patek Philippe, Rolex and Hublot on Tuesday announced they are temporarily closing manufacturing workshops in Switzerland, taking a step further than requirements from authorities.

Chanel is also looking at ways to help doctors and hospital workers to take part in the fight against the coronavirus, it added.