PARIS — As the French government scrambles to equip health care workers with surgical masks during the Coronavirus outbreak, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is drawing on its global distribution network to procure millions of them in the coming days to hand over to authorities.
The luxury goods group, which recently repurposed perfume factories to produce hand sanitizer to help battle the spread of coronavirus, said it has secured an order from a Chinese supplier and will deliver 10 million masks in France in the upcoming days. It plans to renew the order each week for at least the next four weeks.
“In order to secure this order during an extremely tense period and to ensure that production begins today, Bernard Arnault arranged for LVMH to finance the whole of the first week of deliveries, amounting to 5 million euros,” the company said in a statement Saturday. The group will manage the supply chain, shipping and customs clearance for the operation.
Zara-owner Inditex is another prominent global apparel company that has stepped in to help, using its logistics and procurement network, and is donating masks to the Spanish government. The fast-fashion retailer is also looking into switching some of its textile manufacturing facilities in Spain to supply protective gowns.
LVMH announced last week that all the production facilities of the group’s perfumes and cosmetics brands, including Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy, would produce and distribute bottles of hand sanitizer to hand out freely in France, with Parisian hospitals in priority.