Louis Vuitton Conglomerate to Make 12 Tons of Hand Sanitizer as Coronavirus Concerns Increase

The luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH, which is home to brands including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Moët & Chandon and more, announced this week that it is converting three of its largest perfume manufacturing facilities to make hand sanitizer in an effort to help during the current coronavirus crisis.

"Given the risk of a shortage of hydroalcoholic gel in France, Bernard Arnault has instructed the LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics business to prepare its production sites to manufacture substantial quantities of hydroalcoholic gel to be provided to public authorities," the company wrote in a statement on Sunday. "LVMH will therefore use all the production facilities of its Perfumes & Cosmetics brands in France to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel from Monday," the statement continued, adding that the gel will be delivered free of charge to French health agencies and to the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 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 virus," the message concluded. "LVMH will continue to honor this commitment for as long as necessary, in connection with the French health authorities."

The facilities are normally used to make perfumes for Christian Dior, Givenchy and Guerlain. LVMH anticipates it will make 12 tons of hand sanitizer within its first week, the New York Times reports.

"I wish to thank LVMH for acting so quickly: they made us this offer on Saturday night at 9pm (2000 GMT), and confirmed it on Sunday," Paris hospitals chief Martine Hirsch told AFP, via The Guardian.

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A spokeswoman for the Paris hospital system said that hospitals in the city have not yet run out of gel but supplies are "strained." As it did in the United States, concern over the coronavirus drove up the demand for the gel, and many French pharmacies have restricted purchasing to one bottle per person. In addition, the government issued a decree limiting prices after some attempted markups and a 100ml can now cost no more than three euros.

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