Chanel, concerned over the destruction of the Fukushima nuclear plant, located too close for comfort at 124 miles from the city, has begun to distribute iodine tablets to its employees. Hennes & Mauritz and PPR responded by temporarily moving its offices, while many other brands are allowing their staff to work remotely. Gap, which claims to be “monitoring the situation closely,” has closed 17 of its 130 stores in Japan.
Ample numbers of Tokyo residents are choosing to stay put. H&M extended an offer to relocate its employees; only 60 of its 800 workers accepted the offer as of Thursday, most preferring to stay close to home.
“Chanel decided to close stores and offices in the affected areas [which include Tokyo],” the company announced to WWD. “Staff either stay home and follow instructions to remain indoors or temporarily leave the area. For those who prefer to leave the affected regions, Chanel is providing financial and logistical assistance. For staff who prefer to stay, the company has distributed iodine tablets and continues to deliver them for family members.”
Loewe, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, reports that it was forced to shut 15 of its 40 stores after damage from the earthquake.
“It was a natural disaster, an act of God, something completely out of our control, and we just have to deal with it, and find new solutions,” Lisa Montague, chief executive officer of Loewe, said to WWD. “Our most immediate efforts are focused on ensuring that our staff is safe.”