American sports apparel brand Nike on Tuesday issued a statement where it said that the company has closed half its stores in China and reduced hours at others due to the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus. Nike said that it is prioritising the health of its teammates and partners while warning that it expects financial and other impacts on its operations in the country. The decision came amid the ongoing health emergency in China where more than 20,000 people are reportedly affected by the contagious virus.
Nike in its statement said that similar to others in the marketplace, it has temporarily closed down half of its stores in China and the ones which are open are 'experiencing lower' footfall. The company further added that it is expecting a material and financial impact on its operations in Greater China.
As per media reports, Nike CEO John Donahoe said that the company is determined to serve consumers in Greater China with inspiration and innovation despite the difficult situation.
According to the latest media reports, the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has claimed more than 420 lives in China alone. The confirmed reported cases have reached up to 20,000 as of February 4 and as per US CDC, confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in 27 other countries. The disease is believed to have originated in a seafood market in Hubei's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, where animals were being traded illegally.
China is handling the situation quite effectively as just recently the country built a hospital in a record time of just eight days to house the patients affected by the disease. International press earlier reported that Chinese authorities have imposed a strict quarantine in 12 cities across the country, 11 of which are in the Hubei province. Beijing is also building another hospital in the Wuhan with a capacity of an estimated 1,600 beds.
(With Agency inputs)