FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk past a Dolce & Gabbana store at a shopping mall in Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicentre of China’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

ROME (Reuters) – Italian fashion group Dolce & Gabbana will lose out “a lot” this year, after the coronavirus emergency, founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said on Thursday.

“You should ask our chief executive, but certainly we will, a lot, as it has already unfortunately happened in these past months,” the entrepreneurs told daily La Stampa in an interview, when asked if the group would lose out this year.

They did not give further details.

The unlisted group is one of Italy’s 10 largest fashion groups by revenue, with sales of 1.38 billion euros in the year that ended in March 2019.

“The creative side of the company works, the productive one will restart at full regime only when there won’t be social distancing anymore,” they added.

The COVID-19 crisis, which hit China late last year before spreading to Europe and the United States, has kept customers at home and forced retailers to shut stores, putting a crushing halt to a decade of spectacular growth for high-end brands.

Global sales of luxury goods are expected to slump by 50% to 60% in the second quarter of the year, consultancy Bain said last week.

Dolce and Gabbana said that after the pandemic the fashion industry would have to adapt to the new lifestyles of customers, with fewer fashion shows and more on-line shopping.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti

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