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The global fashion business journal

Jun 13, 20246:55pm

Fashion giants close over 60,000 stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe

H&M, VF Corporation or Lululemon closes their stores amid the global spread of the COVID-19 as it increasingly takes over companies’ main markets.  

Mar 17, 2020 — 9:00am
F.T.N G / N. Z

Fashion giants close over 40,000 stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe



The United States, Canada, and Europe combat the coronavirus. Prominent fashion companies have made the decision to close their stores in the U.S, Europe, and Canada in order to stop the propagation of the coronavirus as the latter increasingly accumulate death tolls across main fashion markets. 


The VF Corporation owner of brands such as Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Napapijri, among others publicized the temporary closure of all owned stores across North America, its most successful market by revenue, effective today through April 5. Similar actions have been taken in the EMEA region, its second-largest market, which saw a 4% growth in its latest financial report, corresponding to its third quarter of 2020. The Asia Pacific region, the group’s third-largest market by revenue is also being penalized over the coronavirus, in its latest financial result, sales increased by 14% in the region. Although the group does not specify the number of stores it has per market, 90 percent of its retail store locations are operative in China. The North Face has 98 stores around the United States, among outlets and brand stores. 


Urban Outfitters, the group that owns the homonymous brand, Anthropologie and Free People, has temporarily closed all of its stores in the United States, Europe, and Canada, which comprises 623 points of sale


For the moment, Inditex, the leader in fashion distribution by revenue has only closed its stores in Spain. In total, the group has 1,953 points in the country, which is comprised of brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivariusm, Oysho and Uterqüe. That said, the Spanish group has most likely closed its stores in France too, following Emanuel Macron’s decree for the country’s lockdown. In total, Inditex has 7,486 stores, as of 31 March, 2019.  





The athletic apparel company Lululemon has closed all of its stores in North America and in Europe, “in light of the rapidly changing developments, lululemon announced the closure of all stores in North America and Europe, from March 16 through March 27,” the company announced last Sunday in a statement. According to its latest financial report (Q3 - published December 11), the American company had a total of 479 stores. As of 2018, the company stated that it operated across 14 countries worldwide. 


Fast Retailing, owner of Uniqlo, as of August 2019, had 817 stores in Japan (including 43 franchises), 807 stores in Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan), 188 in South Korea, 231 in Southeast Asia & Oceania, 91 in Europe and 62 in North America. The group said that only 30 of its Uniqlo stores in China were still closed, it has not yet made a statement in regard to whether it will be closing stores in North America. But the company’s stores in Europe, especially the ones in France and Spain are closed. 

Abercrombie has taken equal measures. The American company has announced the closing of its stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe, which amounts to 338 stores in these markets. For the brand, the United States is one of its most important markets in terms of revenue and store presence, as the company has more than half of its stores in its local market. 


“The decision to close all our stores outside of the APAC region has been done with a focus on the wellbeing of our associates, our customers, our partners, and our communities, and it is in keeping with our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie&Fitch.


The Gap group, which owns the Gap brand, Banana Republic, Janie, and Jack and Athleta, closed 100, selected stores in the United States and Canada. “We have been using the learnings from our Asia teams, who have been weathering this crisis over the past several months”, said Sonia Syngal, CEO of the company, in a statement. 





Another fashion giant is H&M; the Swedish group has also taken actions to combat the spread of the coronavirus. During the first quarter, the Swedish company’s business was severely impacted in China, where 334 stores were closed in February. Now, with the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe and the United States, the group has temporarily closed its stores in Poland, Spain, Bulgaria or France, among others. The online store is open for these countries. 


Levis Strauss also published yesterday that it was closing all of its stores in the United States and Canada, the company expects the stores to remain close through March 27, similar to other fashion retailers that have taken a similar decision. The company has approximately 50,000 retail locations and over 3,000 brand-dedicated stores and shop-in-shops across the world. Its biggest market is America, followed by Europe then the EMEA region. 

Mango has 1600 stores worldwide. Since the Spanish Government’s announced a state of emergency, the company has closed all its stores in the country. However, between the United States and Europe, Mango has only closed 60% of its total stores.

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