In a statement on Monday morning, Ralph Lauren chief executive officer Patrice Louvet confirmed that all North American stores will be closed from March 18 through April 1. All employees will be paid for the duration of the closure. This comes after Sunday’s decision to shutter the brand’s hospitality locations in the United States and Europe.
“Our number one priority is the health and well-being of our employees, our customers and the communities we serve,” Louvet said in a statement. He added that while the stores are closed, “we will continuously assess the quickly evolving context around us. We will take into account the guidance of medical experts, global health organizations and governments to determine the right time to return to business location by location.”
Louvet stressed that online and mobile commerce will not be impacted, and will continue on ralphlauren.com, the Polo app and clubmonaco.com.
The company has taken additional steps in response to the virus, including freezing travel, having all who can work from home, instituting staggered work schedules at distribution centers and, like all entities everywhere, giving all locations “extra-deep cleanings.”
Louvet concluded with a consummately Ralph Lauren sentiment: “As we face this challenge as a global community,” he said, “our hope is to continue to be the beacon of optimism and unity that Ralph Lauren and our brands have always been to the world.”
Chanel made the decision late on Monday to shutter all U.S. locations for at least the next two weeks, “in the interest of public health, and out of concern for the safety and well-being of our employees and clients…,” it said in a statement. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation and follow the guidance of government and health experts, to determine when we can safely reopen our boutiques.” Chanel said it would continue to pay workers through the shutdown.
Kering and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton will also shutter some U.S. retail outposts today or Wednesday. Kering is closing at least some of its brands’ stores in California and New York, according to a source with knowledge of the group. Those brands under the Kering umbrella include, among others, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen.
LVMH, too, is closing some stores. The extent of those closures could not be confirmed. Brands within the LVMH stable include, among others, Dior, Givenchy, Loewe and Marc Jacobs.