Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren closing stores due to coronavirus outbreak

Tom Ford

Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren are to temporarily close many of their stores amid the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 221,000 people across 176 countries have been infected with the Covid-19 virus, which began in Wuhan, China back in December, and almost 9,000 have died.

On Wednesday, Ford issued a statement on social media and confirmed that his boutiques in North America, Italy, and Switzerland will temporarily close, but online orders will still be available.

"We are all experiencing a tremendous amount of difficulty as the impact of the Covid-19 virus is felt around the world. This is an unprecedented situation, and I know that each of us is trying to manage not only our respective areas of business but our personal lives as well," he said. "Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our employees, clients, and colleagues."

Ford went on to note that he and his team will be adhering to official guidelines from health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the "ongoing spread of Covid-19 and the incredible speed with which the situation is changing".

"By supporting each other and working together, we will overcome these difficult times. I wish you and your families all the best," the 58-year-old concluded.

Lauren also made the decision to shutter his stores in North America and select countries until 1 April. Store employees will continue to be paid during that time.

"The wellbeing of our teams, friends, and family around the world is what matters most right now," he said in a statement on Instagram and Twitter. "We encourage you to focus on your family, your safety and your health. It is our hope that we can inspire optimism and unity."

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