British luxury brand Burberry has warned that the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a “material negative effect” on luxury demand in the Chinese market.
In a statement, Burberry said that 24 of its 64 Chinese stores currently remain closed as a result of the outbreak, affecting sales in both mainland China and Hong Kong.
The brand said it was taking “mitigating actions” but warned that the impact of these would be limited because of the proximity of its financial year end, which falls in March.
Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti commented: “While we cannot currently predict how long this situation will last, we remain confident in our strategy. In the meantime, we are taking mitigating actions and every precaution to help ensure the safety and well-being of our employees. We are extremely grateful for the incredible effort of our teams and our immediate thoughts are with the people directly impacted by this global health emergency.”
China is a vast and growing market for Burberry, and the business had intended to push its presence in the market during 2020. Last month, it announced it was set to show its autumn 20 catwalk collection in Shanghai, part of a wider series of initiatives targeting Chinese shoppers.