And now, Kering. The luxury group confirmed on Tuesday that all of its currently opened stores in the United States and Canada will close by end of day of today in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Some stores under the group’s umbrella have already closed. All will remain shuttered for two weeks. Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Brioni and Pomellato are among the brands impacted by the decision.
“The safety and well-being of our employees is unequivocally our number-one priority,” Kering said in a statement. “Given the fluidity of the situation, our goal as an organization has been to actively address our employees first with any decisions being made before the general public.”
This decision was made jointly by Kering leadership and that of its member houses. Impacted employees will be paid through the closure period, during which e-commerce will not be interrupted. “Our houses will continue to serve their clients through their web sites, and our New Jersey distribution center will remain open to support our e-commerce operations,” the statement offered, noting that extra precautions are underway to safeguard workers involved in those operations. “Enhanced safety measures have been implemented for these employees. We have also heightened hygiene protocols and are practicing social distancing within the facilities.”
Like other companies grappling with how best to deal with this crisis, Kering acknowledged its complicated fluidity. “We are actively monitoring the situation and will reassess as it progresses,” the statement said. “We are encouraging all Kering employees to use this time to stay home, practice social distancing and to do their part as a global citizen to curb the spread of this dangerous virus.”