Japanese fashion companies based in Tokyo have largely moved their operations west to Osaka, farther away from the blackouts, limitation of resources and possible nuclear fallout caused by the earthquake and tsunami that hit the region last week. The ones that haven’t moved are taking precautionary measures.
WWD reported yesterday that H&M had temporarily closed its Tokyo stores and moved all of its 800 employees in the area to Osaka. Today it’s been joined by the Japanese offices of PPR, parent company to the Gucci Group. Chanel closed its doors and is reported to have been distributing iodine tablets, largely used to prevent exposure to radiation, to its Japanese employees who choose to stay in the area. It’s providing “financial and logistical assistance” to those who decided to leave. The Gap closed the 17 stores it has in the region.
An LVMH executive told WWD that 40 of the company’s stores in the area were “badly affected” by the natural disasters, and that they’d be closed for the foreseeable future, even though some people who live in Tokyo have chosen to stay there.