March 25, 2020 / 4:46 PM / 12 days ago

Canada Goose, Gap to make scrubs, patient gowns in battle against coronavirus

A sign of Canada Goose is pictured outside its store in Beijing's Sanlitun area, China December 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

(Reuters) - Retailers Canada Goose Holdings Inc and Gap Inc said they would begin production of medical gear for healthcare workers and patients to aid the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Canadian company, known for its luxury parkas, said on Wednesday it would make scrubs and patient gowns, which are in short supply, and will begin distributing them to local hospitals free of cost next week.

The production will start in two of its plants in Toronto and Winnipeg, with about 50 employees per facility working with an initial goal of manufacturing 10,000 units.

U.S. retailer Gap also announced similar plans late Tuesday and said it would pivot resources so that its factory partners can manufacture masks, gowns and scrubs for healthcare workers on the frontline of the outbreak.

The company said in a post here on Twitter that it would connect its vendors with some hospitals in California for the supply of personal protective equipment.

Last month, Canada Goose had forecast a hit to its annual profit and revenue as the outbreak in China hurt store traffic.

The forecast reflects a crisis across global luxury brands that have been investing heavily to launch more stores and beef up online presence to capitalize on the spending power of Chinese shoppers.

Canada Goose, which generates about a fifth of its revenue from Asia and sells $1,000 parkas, operates three stores in China and sells on online marketplace Tmall.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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