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Louis Vuitton owner tells staff to take the stairs and turns down store thermostats

Louis Vuitton owner LVMH will seek to cut energy costs for at least a year - REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Louis Vuitton owner LVMH will seek to cut energy costs for at least a year - REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Louis Vuitton owner LVMH is preparing to slash its energy bill this winter by turning down the thermostat in its stores and urging staff to take the stairs instead of getting in a lift.

The luxury goods giant, which is run by Europe's richest man, Bernard Arnault, has introduced a range of measures to combat spiralling energy costs including reducing the temperature in its stores by 1C this winter and asking over 30,000 staff to change their daily habits.

The changes will first happen in France, where the group's energy usage is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of a city of 150,000 people, before being rolled out globally.

As well as lowering heating in shops, lights in stores will be switched off between 10pm and 7am and office lights will go off from 9pm. Staff have also been told to rethink their work habits by turning off their computers at night and considering alternatives to lifts and printers.

The business said the goal is to "reduce the current tensions on the electricity market" and slash its energy usage by around 10pc. The changes will be implemented from next month and last at least a year, with air conditioning over the summer also to be set at a warmer temperature.

The changes will be welcomed by climate change campaigners in France, who have been trying to get retailers to switch off their illuminated lights at night for years.

LVMH will start the measures in France before rolling them out worldwide - Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
LVMH will start the measures in France before rolling them out worldwide - Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

There has been uproar among protesters in Paris over store lights being left on all night, despite a law introduced almost a decade ago requiring shops to go dark after 1am.

France's prime minister Elisabeth Borne also urged companies last month to draft energy savings plans, according to Reuters, warning that they would be hit first if the country ever had to ration gas and electricity.

Retailers around the world are expected to put energy-saving measures in place this winter as the cost of running stores soars as a result of a major energy bill crisis.

In Britain, the cost of running fashion brand Primark's 400 shops is set to rise by £100m this year instead of the typical £10m.

John Bason, the finance chief of Primark owner Associated British Foods, said earlier this month that the company was looking to reduce energy costs in its shops by trying to fit the stores with more LED lightbulbs.