Sports equipment maker Adidas has seen sales in China fall 85% year-on-year since late January due to the new coronavirus, he said on Wednesday.
The Covid-19 epidemic has resulted in the closure of a “significant” number of stores, those owned by its own and those of partners, the group said in a statement.
Adidas also suffered in recent weeks from a “significant reduction in customer volume” in stores that reopened after the Chinese New Year holidays.
The contrast is striking with the first three weeks of the year, during which Adidas says it recorded “strong growth” in its activities in China.
The Herzogenaurach group, on the other hand, claims that it does not feel “any significant effect” on other Asian markets, in particular in Japan and South Korea.
He will be better able to assess the impact of the epidemic on the current financial year when the accounts for 2019 are published, scheduled for March 11.
His “top priority” at the moment is “ensuring the personal and financial security” of his employees and their families, which he does “in close collaboration with the Chinese authorities,” the statement said.
500 stores operated in China
Adidas has 500 directly operated stores in China and a network of around 11,500 franchisees.
German competitor Puma told him on Wednesday that its business operations in China were “severely affected by security measures and government restrictions”, in a statement on the sidelines of its annual results.
“More than half of our own retail stores and those of our partners are temporarily closed due to decisions by local authorities,” said the supplier.
Other markets, notably in Asia, suffer from the “absence of Chinese tourists”, adds Puma, which is not at the moment able to predict “the exact impact” of the virus on its activities.
Their American rival Nike said earlier this month that it expected a “significant impact” on activity in China in the short term, where it also had to close stores.