With France's COVID-19 cases surpassing the 5,000 mark, LVMH will begin making hand sanitizer to donate to French authorities, according to a press release from the luxury goods conglomerate. The brand announced on Sun. that it is preparing its facilities to manufacture hydroalcoholic gel in "substantial quantities."
In just one week, the country's coronavirus cases have increased fivefold, prompting authorities to shut down all nonessential businesses in an effort to slow the spread. Under the instruction of CEO Bernard Arnault, the Paris-based giant behind Dior, Givenchy, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Bulgari, and a slew of other high-end brands will be using its production sites to replenish France's depleted stock of hand sanitizer starting Mon.
"Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus," said a press release tweeted by The Times' Retail and M&A Editor Ashley Armstrong.
According to the statement, the hand sanitizer will be donated to the French health authorities and the Assistance Publique-Hospitaux de Paris — a network of 39 hospitals — and "will continue to honour this commitment for as long as necessary."
LVMH is the world's largest seller of luxury goods and the largest market capitalization in France, worth $220 billion. The facilities where antibacterial gel will now be manufactured have in the past been used for making fragrances for Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Parfums Givenchy.
Countries that have so far been hit the hardest with coronavirus cases have faced nationwide shortages of hand sanitizer, which the Centers of Disease Control recommends as a secondary precaution to hand washing. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is even encouraging licensed pharmacists and doctors to create their own and distribute it, Bloomberg has reported. The U.S. currently has more than 4,000 confirmed cases.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.