Zara's owner will donate face masks and hospital gowns for coronavirus patients and healthcare workers amid the shortage caused by the pandemic
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- Inditex, owner of the retail store Zara, announced on Wednesday that it will donate masks to coronavirus patients and health officials in Spain. The company says it's also looking into converting factories to manufacture hospital gowns.
- Zara's parent company wrote a near-$335 million impairment for its spring/summer inventory and said sales have fallen 24%.
- As of Wednesday, 3,785 of Inditex Fashion Group stores have closed across 39 markets.
- Luxury conglomerate LVMH similarly turned its luxury perfume factories into hand sanitizer manufacturers to help combat the shortage of sanitizer in France.
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Inditex, owner of the retail chain Zara, announced on Wednesday that it will donate face masks and look into converting factories to make hospital gowns for coronavirus patients and healthcare officials in Spain. Inditex, which is based in Galicia, Spain, joins other fashion brands and retailers that are stepping up to help fight the global coronavirus pandemic.
As reported by Vogue's Brooke Bobb, Inditex plans on letting the Spanish government use its factories and logistics teams to help produce medical supplies amid the national shortage.
In a statement given to Vogue, Inditex said that though it has already donated 10,000 face masks, it "expects to be in a position to ship another 300,000 surgical masks" by the end of the week. The news comes amid a global shortage of not just face masks but also other medical supplies, including hand sanitizer and hospital beds. Demand for gloves and protective glasses has also risen substantially.
Inditex's goal to transform its textile factories into medical supply manufacturers follows in the footsteps of LVMH, which just last week turned its perfume factories into hand sanitizer manufacturers, in an effort to help combat the sanitizer shortage in France. According to the latest available estimates, France has had 9,134 reported cases of the virus and 264 deaths, while Spain has had 17,395 reported cases and 803 deaths.
Inditex wrote an over $300 million impairment amid the coronavirus pandemic
Business of Fashion's Sarah Kent reported on Wednesday that Inditex wrote down the value of its spring/summer inventory by almost €300 million ($335 million), as sales this month tumbled 24%. Kent also reported that, as of Wednesday, 3,785 of Inditex Fashion Group stores had closed across 39 different markets. Most of the company's stores in China have reopened, however, as the virus' spread in that region has since slowed significantly.
The fashion group said it's too early to see what impact the coronavirus will have on its overall yearly performance, which is similar to what the leaders of Kering and Salvatore Ferragamo said when asked how the virus would impact their own companies' bottom lines.
"The start of 2020 is driven by severe but temporary external factors," Inditex Executive Chairman Pablo Isla reportedly said on an analyst call on Wednesday. "We have total confidence in our business model and the long-term potential of the group."
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