Louis Vuitton conglomerate is converting perfume manufacturing at all its Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Givenchy facilities to the production of hand sanitizer that will be available for free by French health authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19. From an earnings point of view, perfumes and cosmetics is among the smaller of LVMH’s divisions, during this global pandemic the demand for luxury perfumes would obviously be on the low.
The French luxury conglomerate that operates more than 75 brands, including luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Celine—has a very unproblematic Twitter feed, which consists mostly of retweets from its own family. It has recently shared updates about launching a new TAG Heuer watch collection, the arrival of the Loewe all-leather ‘balloon’ handbag, and the potential for an Anguillan vacation curated by Belmond—but it’s been really quiet about one of its biggest and most important drops to date.
Over the weekend, the French luxury conglomerate announced that it will now use their fragrance production facilities – which are normally used to make fragrances and cosmetics for Dior and Givenchy – to produce bottles of hydroalcoholic gel (hand sanitizer) instead. The resulting bottles of sanitizer will be delivered free of charge to French health agencies, and to Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP), the largest teaching hospital system in Europe. Through this initiative, LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the COVID-19. The CEOs of Prada, Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada ,as well as chairman Carlo Mazzi, announced they have donated two intensive care and resuscitation units each to Milan hospitals Vittore Buzzi, Sacco and San Raffaele. Donatella Versace and her daughter, Allegra also donated to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital to fight the coronavirus.
As of this writing, there have been 5,397 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France, and 127 deaths. On Saturday, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced that all non-essential businesses, including bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and clubs, would be closed.
In the United States, Shine Distillery has been making its own DIY hand wash too. According to Willamette Week, Shine Distillery and Grill is turning the 160-proof leftovers from its still into “hand cleaner,” and it’s giving pocket-sized bottles away for free. Shine isn’t allowed to legally call the product “sanitizer,” but it does exceed the CDC’s recommendation that alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be at least 60% alcohol.
According to their Facebook page, other distilleries across the U.S. have since made contact to see how they can start providing the same services to their own communities. Governments across the world have asked manufacturers to help them in making products that are in shortage amidst this global pandemic. Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK has asked engineering firms to transfer production to build ventilators for hospitals. Whereas in China, the electronics giant Foxconn which makes Apple iPhones has now transferred production to manufacturing surgical masks.