Finally, some good news on the Covid-19 front — international retailers, such as Ikea, Muji, the Galeries Lafayette and Lululemon are gradually resuming their Chinese brick-and-mortar operations as coronavirus cases decline on the mainland, Yicai Global reported.
China’s Covid-19 case total has started falling and cities such as Shanghai have had days without any new additions. Meanwhile, clusters of new infections have started popping up abroad, particularly in Italy, South Korea, and Iran, the report said.
Ikea will resume operations in three Shanghai stores, as well as in Hangzhou and Wuxi on March 1 but doors will close already at 6 p.m., the Netherlands-headquartered firm said in a statement.
Shoppers can visit its fourth Shanghai store in Xuhui from March 2. But cafeterias and children’s playgrounds will remain closed, the report said.
By Feb. 26, Uniqlo had reopened 80% of its 750 mainland outlets, nearly half of which were closed at a point due to the virus, the report said.
Tokyo-headquartered Muji had chosen a similar strategy as only 70 stores, or 20% of the mainland’s total, remained closed, down from over 150 locations, the report said, citing Japanese newspaper Nikkei.
French department store Galeries Lafayette’s two mainland outlets in Beijing and Shanghai resumed operations but with narrowed opening hours, the report said.
Clients need to have their temperatures checked and wear face masks to enter the premises.
Lululemon has reopened some of its sportswear stores in more than 10 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Xiamen, and Suzhou, the Vancouver-headquartered company said in a statement on its WeChat account on Feb. 5.
During shutdowns, the firm that is known for its yoga fashion has offered more than 40 online courses to help people find ways to exercise at home, the report said.
Meanwhile, Apple has now reopened 29 of its 42 retail locations in China, according to Apple’s store websites, MacRumors reported.
Most locations that have been reopened continue to operate on shortened hours, with some open for less than eight hours a day.