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Stock prices tumble and Japan Fashion Week cancelled as quake takes toll

Stock prices have continued to tumble both in Japan and in London in the wake of last week’s earthquake and tsunami as retailers and brands have pledged their support to affected businesses and people.

In the wake of the devastation, stock prices have plummeted with the Japanese Stock Exchange Nikkei dropping by 10.6% yesterday. Luxury stocks have been hit hard by the tsunami as fears of nuclear pollution are expected to harm the country’s economy. The FTSE 100 also fell to a 2011 low on Monday with luxury British heritage brand Burberry the largest faller.

Japan represents 11% of global luxury sales. The country makes up around 19% of sales for Hermes, 9% for LVMH, 16% for PPR and 7% for Burberry. On Monday Hermes’ stock was 2.12% down, LVMH was down 3.3%, PPR down 1.75% and Burberry down 5.45%.

Luxury brands with a presence in the country have pledged their sympathies to those affected by the disaster.

A spokesperson from Burberry said: “Our priority to date, as always, has been on ensuring the safety of our staff in Japan, all of whom are accounted for. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are working with our business associates, vendors and licensees to provide them with support at this difficult time.”

A spokeswoman from luxury goods group PPR, which operates brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent, said she was pleased to confirm that all customers that were in stores and all of the brands’ employees in Japan at the time of the earthquake and tsunami were unharmed.

She added: “We have sustained some minor structural damage in our Sendai stores ( which comprise Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Boucheron and Sergio Rossi stores) and very minor damage in some of our Tokyo offices.  Our priority is to  ensure the safety and security of our people and customers, therefore most of our stores in Greater Tokyo/Kanto area are planning to close until Wednesday (March 16). We are monitoring the situation carefully and we are working with our chief executive officers to see if it is possible to reopen the stores earlier.”

Japan Fashion Week (JFW) was due to take place from March 21 to 27. A statement on the JFW website said: “Due to the multiple concerns regarding current electricity shortages, unreliable transportation, and general safety concerns, the Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo that was scheduled to take place this week and next week has been cancelled.”


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