Retailers have issued stark warnings concerning the influence of the coronavirus – with Next telling traders it might maintain a hit of greater than £1bn.

In a candid replace, chief government Simon Wolfson mentioned: “People do not buy a new outfit to stay at home.”

The privately held firm cautioned it could be pressured to take “radical” motion on wages to assist minimize prices – together with redundancies – however didn’t reveal any particular measures for the second.

A branch of Next on Oxford Street, central London.
Image: Next fears it could take a hit of £1bn due to the outbreak

“Demand will be the biggest issue and although the virus is likely to impact our operations, we do not believe this will be as damaging as the very significant drop in sales sustained both in retail and online,” Lord Wolfson added.

A hit of £1bn is equal to 25% of Next’s annual sales, and the retailer says it’s planning to maintain 498 shops open till the federal government orders closures nationwide.

Burberry estimates that sales within the remaining weeks of March can be down by as a lot as 80% – with demand for luxurious items disappearing due to restrictions imposed worldwide.

Chief government Marco Gobbetti mentioned: “Since our February update, the material negative effect of COVID-19 on luxury demand has intensified and is now impacting the industry in all regions.”

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The COVID-19 pandemic has additionally pressured Inditex, the proprietor of Zara, to shut 3,785 shops globally.

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Inditex – whose different manufacturers embrace Pull & Bear and Bershka – mentioned it’s at present “too early” to quantify the pandemic’s influence, nevertheless it has provisionally wrote down £263m price of its stock for the spring and summer time interval.

The world financial system is, in accordance to many economists, nearly sure to be in recession given the size of the disruption.

COVID-19, the sickness brought on by the coronavirus, has contaminated nearly 220,000 folks and killed extra nearly 9,000 to date, together with 104 within the UK.

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Countries corresponding to France have ordered retailers to shut their doorways. Only shops offering meals and different fundamental provides are being allowed to stay open.

Online deliveries are nonetheless allowed regardless of the lockdown, however Amazon has been dealing with calls to halt its operations.

Unions in France declare Amazon employees face non-payment in the event that they fail to flip up due to coronavirus fears – and lots of of workers members have been protesting outdoors a warehouse south of Paris.