Coronavirus hits Lululemon, forces closure of China stores

'Majority' of 38 stores in China affected

Athletic apparel maker Lululemon has shut down most of its stores in China amid the spread of coronavirus, the company said Monday.

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Lululemon said the store closures began Feb. 3 and impacted the “majority” of its 38 stores in China. Some of the stores that were not shut down have operated on a reduced schedule.

“We’re inspired by the resilience and commitment of our team in China as we navigate the emerging impacts of the coronavirus,"  said Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald. "The safety of our people is our highest priority, and we are adjusting store operations based upon the recommendations of local authorities.”

The Canada-based retailer said it will provide an update on how the closures have impacted its upcoming financial results during its fourth-quarter earnings call in late March. Lululemon’s online business has “continued to operate” since the outbreak, though it’s unclear if its supply chain has been affected.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LULULULULEMON ATHLETICA INC.300.10+15.68+5.51%

Lululemon shares dropped nearly 5 percent in trading Monday amid broader losses for U.S. stock indices. The Dow Jones Industry Average fell more than 1,000 points.

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“Despite the current disruption to our growing business in China, we remain confident in the long-term opportunities this market holds for lululemon,” McDonald added.

The coronavirus outbreak began in China’s Hubei province and has since spread to several other nations, prompting fears of a global pandemic. In China alone, more than 2,600 people have died and an additional 77,000 have been sickened.

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Several U.S. businesses active in the Chinese market have reported interruptions due to the outbreak. Beijing has enacted widespread travel restrictions and other preventative measures in a bid to slow its movement.

Apple disclosed earlier this month that it would miss its second-quarter guidance estimates due to the impact of coronavirus on its supply chain and customer demand in China.

Other companies to close stores in China include Nike and Starbucks.

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