New business ideas in the midst of the outbreak of pandemic: Panacea for The Crisis Coronavirus challenges brands: a new reality with closed borders, work from home and canceled concerts. But a crisis is an opportunity-use not to lose.The coronavirus pandemic has led to a shortage and a sharp rise in price of protective equipment: medical masks, antiseptic gels and sprays. The first global luxury company to respond to the situation holding company LVMH, the largest producer of luxury goods in the world. On March 15, LVMH owner Bernard Arnault announced that they will produce antiseptic gels in three holding factories in France, where Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy used to make perfumes and cosmetics. Now more than a dozen companies around the world have announced similar initiatives.
“This story is not about money. We pump our brand’’
Turning challenges into opportunities. How brands use hype around the pandemic
Antiseptics instead of perfumes and vodka
Coronavirus challenges brands and in such frameworks the promise of the LVMH factory was fulfilled immediately: the day after Arnault’s speech, the manufactories began production of a new product. There was no need to re-equip production: the antiseptic is mixed and bottled on the same line as perfumery, the first batch of gel was poured into Kenzo micellar water bottles to speed up the process; Shipment began on March 20.
Antiseptics will be free for French healthcare institutions, LVMH promises to produce them as much as needed. During the first week, LVMH plans to release 12 tons of funds, and then increase production volumes.
Following LVMH, cosmetics companies L’Oréal and Coty announced the transfer of part of their capacity to the production of antiseptics. L’Oréal’s La Roche-Posay brand will supply hand sanitizer gel to hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies throughout Europe. Garnier, another L’Oréal brand, will provide free antiseptics to its food supply customers. The Coty report states that the gels will be donated to medical and emergency services at points where local authorities need them.
Nike began producing protective face shields for medical staff, Crocks pledged to transfer 10,000 pairs of rubber slippers every day to hospitals.
Hermès announced its initiatives after some of the products were manufactured. On March 30, it became known that more than 30 tons of hand sanitizers were made at Hermes perfumery factories in Le Vaudreuil, and more than 31,000 masks were manufactured across the country by brand sewing factories. All manufactured goods were donated to public hospitals in France.
Alcohol producers have also joined the release of antiseptic gels in Europe. The French company Pernod Ricard has pledged to supply 70,000 liters of pure alcohol to Laboratoire Cooper, which supplies antiseptic hand gels to all pharmacies in France. Pernod Ricard’s units in other countries, including Absolut vodka in Sweden, also help local authorities by producing antiseptic gels or supplying alcohol on their own, the company said.
Meanwhile, thousands of nameless factories in China, a country that has already survived its epidemic, are mastering a new one and super-profitable market – face masks for export.So, Coronavirus challenges brands .but they keep on growing in a new way.
The new ‘must-have accessory’ in 2020: Medical masks come into fashion
On March 18, the Italian company Prada began production of medical overalls and masks for medical personnel at the request of the Tuscan authorities. The products are sewn at the Prada factory in Monton (Perugia), which, thanks to this, has kept production.
Prada will produce 80,000 overalls and 110,000 masks, the production plan provides for daily deliveries, which will be completed by April 6, according to a message from the Prada Group.
On the same day, Inditex, which owns Zara and other major clothing brands, announced that it had donated 10,000 masks to Spanish medical services and would send another 300,000 by the end of the week. Inditex also stated that it is exploring the possibility of converting part of its production capacity in Spain to produce hospital gowns and will provide its local network with a network of logistics and suppliers, especially in China, to “meet the urgent needs of Spain in both medical and textile materials,” such like protective masks, gloves, goggles and caps.
On March 23, the Kering concern (owns the brands Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, etc.) issued a statement on the readiness of the sewing factories where Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent clothes are made to begin production of masks. Production will be launched as soon as all technologies and materials are approved by the relevant responsible institutions.
On March 23, LVMH issued a statement that it would purchase 10 million masks from Chinese manufacturers (7 million surgical and 3 million protective masks) and deliver them to medical facilities in France. The first 10 million masks will arrive in France in the coming days, specify in the release. Within a minimum of four weeks, the order will be repeated for the same quantity of goods. On March 1, the masters of Baby Dior atelier (one of the Dior divisions owned by LVMH) began to sew medical masks.
The British Fashion Council called on designers and apparel companies to start producing masks and medical clothing. The initiative was supported by American designer Christian Siriano: in the next few days he promised to make 1000 masks for New York hospitals, and after that he began to manufacture hospital gowns.
According to official data from China, the production of masks in the country exceeded 116 million pieces per day, and many go abroad: because of the second wave of the pandemic, demand is still ahead of supply. Some of the Chinese mask makers are planning to continue the business even after the coronavirus is defeated, reasoning that most people will now have the habit of wearing a mask. Judging by the fact that scientists predict in the future the constant occurrence of such outbreaks, they will not remain unprofitable.