As France began to emerge from its strict coronavirus quarantine on Monday, luxury boutiques also opened their doors, after a nearly 2-month closure that shook the economy. New health protocols have been adopted in Paris. An overview of the situation.
While France is progressively ending its lockdown, yesterday, Monday, May 11th, the Parisian luxury shops tried to adopt new hygiene standards, in particular by making the use of face masks compulsory.
However, it should be remembered that only shops of less than 40,000 m2 can reopen.
This is the case, for example, of the Louis Vuitton store on the major Place Vendôme in Paris, which sells all of the brand’s products, from shakers at 645 euros ($700) to jewellery worth several hundred thousand euros, where a few local customers have visited, in particular for the purchase of accessories and small leather goods.
The store’s fitting rooms, now regularly disinfected, were much less busy than usual, staff told Reuters. The same goes for the trunk-maker’s boutique on Place Vendôme.
And it’s not for lack of putting aside all the clothes that are being tried on so that they can be steamed. As for the handbags, they are immediately quarantined for 48 hours.
Cleaning protocols for other items vary depending on the proximity of the face of the persons or materials involved.
In the nearby Chanel boutique, the same battle is fought. A Reuters journalist who visited the site also observed that the customers were all wearing protective masks when they left the French fashion house’s store on the day it reopened.
For its part, the Hermès boutique on Faubourg Saint-Honoré Street also greeted some of its most loyal customers with cleansing gels and a polite refrain from its sales staff: “May I freshen your hands?”.
One salesman even discreetly kept track of the number of visitors coming and going – he counted about fifty at one point in the early afternoon, on two floors.
A client also told Reuters that she had been asked to make an appointment if she wanted to discuss buying a “Kelly” handbag.
The Hermès boss, Axel Dumas, mingling with the store’s employees, refused to comment on the course of the first hours of the reopening.
But travel restrictions and the shortage of international tourists still in force will remain a major obstacle for months to come in the French capital.
According to Flavio Cereda, an analyst at Jefferies, foreign tourists generally account for between 35 and 55 percent of the revenues of luxury brands in Europe.
Despite signs of recovery in China, the industry’s largest market, global sales of luxury goods are expected to fall by 50% this year, the consultancy Bain announced last week.
Featured Photo : Louis Vuitton © Wikipédia
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