October 1, 2014 / 4:58 PM / 3 years ago

Prada says closing Hong Kong shops early when necessary

MILAN, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Italian luxury group Prada said on Wednesday it was monitoring unrest in Hong Kong on a hourly basis and closing shops early when necessary.

Domestic rival Tod’s also said its Hong Kong shops located in the Landmark and Pacific Place shopping malls had closed one hour early on Sunday and Monday, in line with guidance issued by the malls.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly students, have occupied large areas of Hong Kong in protest against China’s decision to limit voters’ choices in a 2017 leadership election.

Hong Kong authorities will not immediately move to clear protesters and will let them stay for weeks if need be, a source with ties to Hong Kong’s China-backed leader Leung Chun-ying said on Wednesday.

“We monitor the situation hour by hour,” a Prada spokesperson said answering a request for comment.

“There have been some early closures over the past few days. We keep the business running as usual but we do take appropriate measures if the situation calls for it.”

Hong Kong-listed Prada made 388 million euros ($489 million) in sales from Greater China in the six months to the end of July, more than a fifth of its total revenues in the period.

Greater China accounted for nearly a quarter of Tod’s sales in the first half. The maker of gommino loafers blamed weak consumer spending in the region for a 7.6 percent annual drop in sales.

On Tuesday, French cosmetics group L‘Oreal said it had banned all its staff from business travel to Hong Kong until Oct. 6. (1 US dollar = 0.7932 euro) (Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by David Clarke)

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