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Montreal - Gildan Activewear Inc. has temporarily suspended production at all of its manufacturing facilities until mid-April in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business and operations. However, all other areas of the business, including distribution centres which service the various regions where Gildan sells its products, will remain open for the time being with good inventory availability levels to service customers.

In statement, the activewear giant said: "The spread of COVID-19 continues to heighten and is having a significant impact on global economic activity. As it relates to areas of Gildan’s business, our first priority is the health and welfare of our employees, customers, suppliers and other partners which we have been working to address."

The company said it had also started to see a meaningful deceleration in demand in the imprintables channel given measures that governments, companies and individuals are taking to limit the spread of COVID-19, including the limitation of social gatherings, travel restrictions and the cancellation of various sporting, entertainment, promotional, and cultural events, amongst others.

However, although Gildan said it had not yet seen as significant a deceleration of demand for its products in all the retail channels that it serves, it did confirm it expects the multitude of recently announced temporary store closures and social distancing measures being recommended by governments and health protection agencies to continue to slow retail demand.

Effective March 17, the government of Honduras mandated a 7-day closure of all private enterprises operating in the country which has now been extended to March 29.

"Governments of some of the other countries in which we operate are also issuing similar directives to combat the spread of COVID-19," Gildan said. "Accordingly, given the impact of all these factors, the company announced today that it is temporarily suspending production at all of its manufacturing facilities until mid-April.

"This will allow us to respect government recommendations and align production and inventory levels with current demand requirements. All other areas of our business, including our distribution centres which service the various regions where we sell our products will remain open for the time being with good inventory availability levels to service our customers, operating with appropriate measures in place to protect our employees, including remote working arrangements for many of our office staff.

"Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 situation which is changing rapidly, the company will continue to monitor and adjust its plans for its business as the situation evolves."

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